GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS: Ex-Cop Guilty Of Murder And Manslaughter In Floyd Case

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Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for decades.

People elated by the verdict flooded the surrounding streets downtown upon hearing the news. Cars blared their horns, and people ran through traffic, waving banners.

Floyd family members gathered at a Minneapolis conference room could be heard cheering from the next room as each verdict was read.

WATCH: President Biden and VP Harris call the Floyd family following the guilty verdict.

The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial ones came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

His face was obscured by a COVID-19 mask, and little reaction could be seen beyond his eyes darting around the courtroom.

His bail was immediately revoked and he was led away with his hands cuffed behind his back. Sentencing will be in two months.

As the judge asked jurors if they reached a verdict, a hush fell on the crowd 300 strong in a park adjacent to the courthouse, with people listening to the proceedings on their cellphones. When the final guilty verdict was announced, the crowd roared, many people hugging, some shedding tears.

At the intersection where Floyd was pinned down, a crowd chanted, “One down, three to go!” — a reference to the three other fired Minneapolis police officers facing trial in August on charges of aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death.

Janay Henry, who lives nearby, said she felt grateful and relieved.

“I feel grounded. I can feel my feet on the concrete,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to the “next case with joy and optimism and strength.”

An ecstatic Whitney Lewis leaned halfway out a car window in a growing traffic jam of revelers waving a Black Lives Matter flag. “Justice was served,” the 32-year-old from Minneapolis said. “It means George Floyd can now rest.”

George Floyd’s family reacts to the conviction of Derek Chauvin on all three counts in the death of George Floyd.

The verdict was read in a courthouse ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops, in a city on edge against another round of unrest — not just because of the Chauvin case but because of the deadly police shooting of a young Black man, Daunte Wright, in a Minneapolis suburb April 11.

The jurors identities were kept secret and will not be released until the judge decides it is safe to do so.

Floyd, 46, died May 25 after being arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead.

The centerpiece of the case was the excruciating bystander video of Floyd gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to stop as the officer pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was 9 1/2 minutes. Floyd slowly went silent and limp.

Prosecutors played the footage at the earliest opportunity, during opening statements, with Jerry Blackwell telling the jury: “Believe your eyes.” And it was shown over and over, analyzed one frame at a time by witnesses on both sides.

In the wake of Floyd’s death, demonstrations and scattered violence broke out in Minneapolis, around the country and beyond. The furor also led to the removal of Confederate statues and other offensive symbols such as Aunt Jemima.

In the months that followed, numerous states and cities restricted the use of force by police, revamped disciplinary systems or subjected police departments to closer oversight.

The “Blue Wall of Silence” that often protects police accused of wrongdoing crumbled after Floyd’s death: The Minneapolis police chief quickly called it “murder” and fired all four officers, and the city reached a staggering $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family as jury selection was underway.

Police-procedure experts and law enforcement veterans inside and outside the Minneapolis department, including the chief, testified for the prosecution that Chauvin used excessive force and went against his training.

Medical experts for the prosecution said Floyd died of asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, because his breathing was constricted by the way he was held down on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind him, a knee on his neck and his face jammed against the ground.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson called a police use-of-force expert and a forensic pathologist to help make the case that Chauvin acted reasonably against a struggling suspect and that Floyd died because of an underlying heart condition and his illegal drug use.

Floyd had high blood pressure, an enlarged heart and narrowed arteries, and fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in his system.

Under the law, police have certain leeway to use force and are judged according to whether their actions were “reasonable” under the circumstances.

The defense also tried to make the case that Chauvin and the other officers were hindered in their duties by what they perceived as a growing, hostile crowd.

Chauvin did not testify, and all that the jury or the public ever heard by way of an explanation from him came from a police body-camera video after an ambulance had taken the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Floyd away. Chauvin told a bystander: “We gotta control this guy ’cause he’s a sizable guy … and it looks like he’s probably on something.”

The prosecution’s case also included tearful testimony from onlookers who said the police kept them back when they protested what was happening. Eighteen-year-old Darnella Frazier, who shot the crucial video, said Chauvin just gave the bystanders a “cold” and “heartless” stare.

She and others said they felt a sense of helplessness and lingering guilt from witnessing Floyd’s slow-motion death.

“It’s been nights I stayed up, apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more, and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” Frazier testified, while the 19-year-old cashier at the neighborhood market, Christopher Martin, lamented that “this could have been avoided” if only he had rejected the suspect $20 bill.

To make Floyd more than a crime statistic in the eyes of the jury, the prosecution called to the stand his girlfriend, who told the story of how they met and how they struggled with addiction to opioids, and his younger brother Philonise. He recalled how Floyd helped teach him to catch a football and made “the best banana mayonnaise sandwiches.”

(AP)


24 COMMENTS

  1. Yippee. I can’t wait to grab a couple of free 78 inch flat screen tv’s from Target tonight. Racial justice. It’s high time we teach Whitey a lesson. Maxine & Psaki are correct. This will help end systemic racism. Trump should resign.

  2. The Jewish people have ‘aharei mos’ followed by ‘kedoshim.’ His death was inexcusable but riots afterwards are the opposite of holiness.

  3. I watched most of the defense arguments. A pity I wasn’t on the jury he would’ve walked free. It’s a sad day for Police in the USA.

  4. The losers are all of us regular citizens. Police will not be out there to provide protection against the beasts that rule our streets. They will sit back and let the thugs rule lest they sit in jail and the thugs walk untethered. We will pay for this dearly.

  5. Baby jar wrote his comment b4 verdict was announced..while all ppl with filters couldnt see the live feed and were waiting with bated breath.

  6. They did not even bring changes against the cop who killed Eric Garner. Eric Garner was an innocent man killed by police brutality. The cops wrote him up anyway in their report that he had cigarettes on him to justify the arrest and take down that led to his death. The Garner family did not want to play along with sharpton y”s and no riots ever happened.

    This animal was high on drugs, with a violent criminal record, a thug, died of natural causes and drugs and yet, in Biden’s amerika justice has been perverted and hordes of gangsters were standing by to intimidate egged on and encouraged by the vile congresswoman.

    From OJ to Derek Chauvin trial, the US has perverted one of the 7 noachide laws to establish courts of justice. One by one the pillars that supported this once great country crumble before our very eyes.

  7. Nothing will ever change for them, their leaders get all the attention they need the pastors suck every last penny out of them, stoking the flames and keeping them in their victim mentality, encouraging them to lie and steal. they do not make them better people.

    With that said no one in their right mind can defend that video that went around the white nationalist Cop clearly killed him.

    If C”V that was one of us we wouldn’t sit quiet.

  8. The jury was intimadated by the mobs waiting to riot, loot and burn if the desired guilty verdict wasn’t achieved. So the jury complied under threat.

  9. Thank you for placing this article where is belongs on the front page. We should always strive to empathize with other people’s pain as did Avraham Avinu.

  10. Baby Jar, you are not telling the truth. Garner’s arrest was 100% justified, and he was not killed by anyone. He died of a heart attack which he gave himself by resisting arrest.

    He announced that he didn’t want to be arrested, and he wasn’t going to allow the police to arrest him. So what were they supposed to do? Are they supposed to allow each criminal to decide whether he’s in the mood to be arrested that day?! They cannot allow such rebellion, or there will be complete chaos.

    Nobody has any business resisting arrest. Even if you think the arrest is wrong, you are required by law to go peacefully and fight it later, in court. And someone in such poor health as Garner was has no business resisting even an illegal kidnapping. Even if some thug had demanded his wallet he should have given it quietly, because he should have known fighting was likely to give him a heart attack, as indeed it did. Pantaleo did nothing wrong.

  11. Samuel H, you are just as bad as Sharpton. What gives you the right to call Chauvin a White Nationalist? That is pure slander, motzi shem ra, and midvar sheker tirchok. The FACT is that Chauvin did not kill Floyd; Floyd killed himself by swallowing all the drugs he was carrying, which was his routine custom WHENEVER he was arrested. The last time he was lucky to have been saved by the medics; this time he wasn’t so lucky.

  12. Yehoshua Ahron, YOU are the achzori, slavering for the blood of an innocent man. You want Chauvin to go to prison when he did nothing wrong, just in a futile hope that it will prevent riots. How is that not achzorius?

  13. Now that the family received 27 million dollars no need to mug any pregnant women!!! Yayyyy!!

    BTW, no video of the reaction of that poor woman who was mugged by Saint George?