After only deliberating for ten hours, the diverse 12-member Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Michael Chauvin guilty on three charges in the death of George Floyd.
The jurors found Chauvin, 45, guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death in May 2020.
The maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is imprisonment of not more than 40 years. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment of not more than 25 years. The maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or $20,000.
Chauvin — wearing a light gray suit, white shirt and blue tie — showed little emotion as the verdict was read. He was immediately handcuffed and led and led away by a Sheriff’s deputy.
The NAACP released their simple reaction on Twitter:
A teary, exhausted and elated crowd gathered on the spot where Floyd was murdered last year and began cheering at the verdict.
Forty-five witnesses were called over nearly three weeks of testimony in Hennepin County District Court — 38 of them brought to the stand by state prosecutors.
The four-member prosecution team, led by Assistant State Attorney General Matthew Frank, focused repeatedly on viral video footage of Floyd’s death, which included Chauvin pressing his knee on the man’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
Chauvin’s defense attempted to argue that it was reasonable to doubt whether their client had murdered Floyd, suggesting that his health condition and drug use contributed to his death in police custody.
During closing arguments on Monday, Prosecutor Steve Schleicher said Chauvin “betrayed his badge.”
“That day, his badge wasn’t in the right place,” Schleicher said. “He knew better. He just didn’t do better. This was not an accident.”