September 30, 2023

Derek Chauvin found guilty in death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin, the White former Minneapolis police officer charged in the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd, a Black man, has been found guilty on all three charges against him.

The jury of six white, four Black and two multiracial people delivered the verdict Tuesday after deliberating for more than 10 hours.

Cheers erupted as the world learned what they had already had already seen on video; Chauvin killed Floyd in cold-blooded murder in broad daylight, not caring whatsoever that video cameras were watching.

On May 25, 2020,  Floyd, who was African American, allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill to a clerk at a Minneapolis convenience store. The clerk called police and Chauvin was one of four police officers who arrived on the scene.

After a bit of resistance, Chauvin and three other officers placed Floyd on the ground, with Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd’s neck and the other officers leaning on his back.

For 9 minutes and 29 seconds, the officers remained there, as Floyd first begged for air and begged more for mercy as a crowd of bystanders gathered, horrified and helpless.

The crowd begged the officers to get off Floyd, who began calling out for his deceased mother to help him. Chauvin looked directly at the onlookers and into their recording cellphones, refusing to remove his knee off Floyd’s neck until the Black man stopped breathing.

Nothing seemed to make him move.

After Floyd’s death, protests against police brutality, especially towards Black people, quickly spread across the United States and internationally.

Houston became front and center in the controversy, as Floyd’s family live in the city.

Floyd grew up in Houston, attending Jack Yates High School, playing football and basketball throughout high school and college. He was a hip hop artist and served as a mentor in his religious community. Between 1997 and 2005, he had a few run-ins with the law, and in 2014, he moved to the Minneapolis area, residing in the nearby suburb of St. Louis Park, and worked as a truck driver and bouncer.

In 2020, he lost his job as a truck driver, and then his security job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Minneapolis settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Floyd’s family for $27 million.

Chauvin’s trial began on March 8.

Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His defense said his actions were justified, but the jury disagreed.

They reached a unanimous verdict of guilty on all three charges. Chauvin sat silent, only blinking, and was escorted out in handcuffs. The sentencing phase begins next.

The trial of the other three officers at the scene of his death is scheduled for August 2021.

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