George Floyd died on May 25, 2020
A panel of jurors has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty Tuesday with three charges in connection with the May 2020 passing of George Floyd, after one of the most closely watched criminal trials lately.
Chauvin, 45, was charged with second-degree accidental murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. With Americans on edge as they anticipated the verdict, the jury declared that it's found him guilty across the board.
His bail was promptly revoked and he was led off with his hands cuffed behind his back. Cheers and cars honking may be observed outside the Hennepin County Courthouse as the verdict was read.
Chauvin's sentencing is scheduled for eight months from today, the judge said. He is sent to prison for decades.
It took the jury about ten hours and 20 minutes to reach a decision, which was read late in the day in a town on edge about the chance of more unrest like that erupted last spring.
The courthouse was fraught with concrete barriers and razor wire, and thousands of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers were brought in ahead of the verdict. Some businesses were boarded up with plywood.
The jury was composed of seven women and five men. Six jurors were White, four were two and Black recognized as multiracial. Jurors were sequestered, their whereabouts kept secret, during deliberations that began Monday afternoon.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Dark guy, expired on May 25, 2020 afterwards Chauvin held his knee against his throat or upper body for 2 minutes and 29 seconds, as a handcuffed Floyd repeatedly stated that he couldn't breathe.
Police were called to the area on that afternoon for a report which Floyd had used a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a neighborhood convenience store, Cup Foods.
His death triggered widespread protests, which lasted months, also calls for an end to police brutality and systemic racism.
During the trial, the jury heard from high-ranking Minneapolis police officials, loved ones of Floyd, bystanders, an officer that responded to the scene and healthcare specialists -- some of whom introduced dueling opinions.
The situation boiled down to two important questions: whether Chauvin caused Floyd's death and if his actions were fair. Each charge required another element of proof concerning Chauvin's state of mind.
For all 3 charges, prosecutors had to prove that Chauvin caused Floyd's death and that his use of force was unreasonable.
Prosecutors did not need to prove Chauvin's restraint was the only cause of Floyd's departure, but only that his conduct was a"substantial causal factor." Chauvin is authorized to use force for a police officer, as long as that force is fair.
The defense argued the now-fired White officer acted reasonably and that the 46-year-old Floyd died of a heart disease and illegal drug usage.
Each count carried a different maximum sentence: 40 years to get second-degree accidental murder, 25 years for third-degree murder, and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.
Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, for a individual who has no criminal history, each murder charge carried a presumptive sentence of 12.5 years in prison, while manslaughter has a presumptive sentence of four years.
Earlier in the day Tuesday, President Biden weighed in by saying he believes the situation is"overwhelming."
He said he had spoken to Floyd's family on Monday and"can just imagine the pressure and anxiety they are feeling."
"They are a fantastic family and they're calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is," Biden said. "I'm praying the verdict is the ideal verdict. I think it's overwhelming, in my view.