Derek Chauvin Convicted In George Floyd’s Death; Biden Calls It ‘giant Step Forward’
A 12-member jury in Minnesota found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the brutal murder of African-American George Floyd in May last year.
The 46-year-old black man died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by white police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis during his arrest. “I can’t breathe!”, George Floyd’s final words as he lay dying under the weight of Chauvin who knelt on his neck for over nine minutes, turned viral in protests across the United States.
Chauvin, 45, was fired from service. He was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The murder of George Floyd had sparked outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the United States. The summer of protests that the country hadn’t seen since the Civil Rights era in the 1960’s prompted the National Guard to be deployed in more than a dozen states.
At the conclusion of a highly-charged, three-week trial, the jury announced its verdict after nearly 10 hours of deliberating. Chauvin has been out on bail since last fall, and the court revoked it immediately.
He was led away in handcuffs and will remain in police custody. Sentencing is expected in two months, and Chauvin could get up to 75 years in jail as per the Minnesota criminal rules.
President Joe Biden called Tuesday’s verdict “a much too rare” step forward for Black men. “Nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, “But this can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America,” he said at the White House in response to the court verdict.
“It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the Vice President just referred to — the systemic racism that is a stain our nation’s soul; the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans; the profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that Black and brown Americans experience every single day.”
The President commended a brave young woman who recorded the action of crime in her smartphone camera, police officers for standing up and testifying against their fellow officer, and “a jury who heard the evidence, carried out their civic duty in the midst of an extraordinary moment, under extraordinary pressure.”
Today’s verdict sends the message that those few police officers who fail to meet the standard must be held accountable, and that no one should be above the law, according to Biden.
Biden said he spoke with the Floyd family, and assured them that his administration is going to continue to fight for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
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