Derek Chauvin Found Guilty of Murder in Death of George Floyd

On Tuesday, April 20, the Hennepin County Court announced former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the death of George Floyd.

By Cydney Contreras Apr 20, 2021 9:11 PMTags
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The jury has come to a verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.

On Tuesday, April 20, the Hennepin County Court announced a 12-member jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

Chauvin will be sentenced at a later date. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Ben Crump, the attorney for Floyd's family, tweeted in response, "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd's family. This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

After listening to three weeks of witness testimony, the jury began deliberating on Monday, April 19 and came to their decision after less than 48 hours. 

Last May, Chauvin and three other officers were arrested after Floyd died in their custody. According to prosecutors, Chauvin kneeled on the back of Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, even as Floyd, who was in handcuffs, said he was struggling to breathe. 

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According to NBC News, prosecutors argued that Floyd died from low oxygen, or asphyxia, while the defense said his death was more likely caused by a combination of factors, including drug use and a pre-existing heart condition.

Courtesy Ben Crump Law

An independent autopsy conducted on behalf of Floyd's family concluded he died from a "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression." 

According to the autopsy, other significant conditions that led to his death included "arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use."

According to NBC News, prosecutor Steve Schleicher said in his closing arguments, "The defendant abandoned his values, abandoned the training and killed a man." 

Hennepin County Sheriff

Chauvin himself did not take the stand to testify in his own defense, instead invoking his fifth amendment right. 

Fellow officers J.A. KeungThomas Lane and Tou Thao are each facing felony charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. They will face trial together in August.