In the Minneapolis trial for the death of George Floyd last May 25, 2020, Jurors found the former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges, bringing to a close three weeks’ worth of witness and expert testimony and a tense period all over the United States.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin had been charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on 25 May 2020. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill revoked Chauvin’s bail, after which he was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom into jail.
Judge Cahill had previously rejected efforts by the defense to change the trial’s location, ruling that there is no part of the North Star State in which residents have not been privy to the details of the fatal arrest. The weeklong string of testimony offered repeated views of video footage documenting Floyd’s arrest as well as recurrent emotional remarks from witnesses. Floyd’s autopsy report indicates that he died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.” During the trial, several witnesses also testified that Floyd died of asphyxia, which was not mentioned explicitly in the medical examiner’s report.
In his last comments before jurors were set to begin their deliberations, Minnesota prosecutor Steve Schleicher argued that Chauvin should be convicted of Floyd’s death, stressing that the former officer acted cruelly and with indifference unbefitting of a policeman.
“Imagining a police officer committing a crime might be the most difficult thing you have to set aside because that’s just not the way we think about police officers,” Schleicher said. “What the defendant did was not policing. What the defendant did was an assault.”
He later noted that the case “is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video,” adding “this wasn’t policing, this was murder,” and that “there’s no excuse” for Chauvin’s behavior during the fatal arrest. Other defendants connected with Floyd’s death include J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, who have all been charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. The three former officers are scheduled to be tried in August.