Derek Chauvin was convicted on Tuesday of murdering George Floyd after a racially charged trial seen as a pivotal test of police accountability in the United States. The jury deliberated less than 11 hours before finding 45-year-old Chauvin guilty of all three charges against him: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
A crowd gathered outside the heavily guarded downtown Minneapolis courtroom erupted in cheers, and some wept tears of relief, when the verdicts were announced after a three-week trial that had an entire nation on edge.
Chauvin, who had been free on bail, was put in handcuffs after Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill read out the unanimous verdicts reached by the racially diverse, seven-woman, five-man jury.
Wearing a facemask and displaying no visible emotion, Chauvin was escorted out of the courtroom by a deputy as one of Floyd’s brothers, Philonise Floyd, embraced prosecutors. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison on the most serious charge — second-degree murder. Sentencing will be at a later date.
The 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis police force was seen on video kneeling on the neck of Floyd for more than nine minutes as he lay face down and handcuffed on the ground saying repeatedly “I can’t breathe.
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