MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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.

The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial people 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.”

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.”

———

Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd

(38) comments

Awteam2021

I commend the 17 year old young lady who had the alert judgement to recorded the cellphone video and uploaded it to Facebook in May, igniting international protests over racism and police abuse that know one could deny. It was in complete contrast to the police report.

MRS M

Team....Your comment says it all, reflecting the NYT's headline this morning:

"A teenager’s video upended the police department’s "initial tale".

And if that video had not been made.....or seen? Luckily for all of us, that video cannot be "unseen".

PurplePickles aka L&M

Note to all: Never believe what the police/police reports say because they have been proven to less than honest about the truth, many many times.

Thing is we could have seen the jury come back without a guilty verdict yesterday, even with the video.....it's next to impossible to be honest about the truth when it comes to the cops for most people.

The 17 year old young lady already knew the truth about cops....which why she wasn't afraid to be honest.

Comment deleted.
shiftless88

The jury was sequestered, correct?

Comment deleted.
PurplePickles aka L&M

I'm sorry you had such a bad day yesterday Butch...did you get a chance to get some fresh air maybe go for a walk, treat yourself to a beer or two...? There is a drive through liquor store in Thurmont....

jth7100

Reader, wake up completely before trying to type sentences. Just sayin'.

sevenstones1000

Wishing we could retry the local sheriffs deputies who did much the same thing to a young Frederick man. I wish I could be sure their consciences attack them every day, but I’m pretty sure they have none.

PurplePickles aka L&M

Well if we had a video tape then things may have turned out differently, maybe? ...or I have a better idea...how about cops just don't kill people over stupid stuff like the price of a movie ticket or an alleged counterfeit 20 dollar bill...or an expired registration.

Reader84

Can’t blame one butt head cop for the amount of good the police force gives back

shiftless88

when the fellow cops stand there and don't stop him, and when police close ranks and defend their own even in cases like this, you can blame the police more broadly.

shiftless88

Reader; can you find quotes from any police union leader who condemned Chauvin when this happened or even since then? They all defended him.

fnpreader123

"Police union welcomes verdict, says 'justice has worked' after Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder" https://news.yahoo.com/police-union-welcomes-verdict-says-230146241.html

shiftless88

Now they are covering their tracks. I meant before the trial

sevenstones1000

You can blame all the ones who initially lied and covered up for him.

Yes, you can blame them.

Reader84

Terrible there was a death but how about the thousands of white criminals that are in poverty that this same thing happens and no one raises a brow. Crap happens!

PurplePickles aka L&M

Finally a jury that wasn't afraid to be honest about the truth.

C.D.Reid

@PurplePickles aka Snowflake

A jury that was "honest about the truth?" Ever think they might have been afraid of what would happen to them, their families, and/or their homes if they didn't vote for a conviction and their names were leaked out? For that reason alone I wouldn't have served on that jury. Those people who have been protesting for almost a year now are seriously mentally deranged and unpredictable. There's no saying the extremes they would have gone to if the man had been acquitted, or received a lesser conviction. And you know it. You just won't admit it.

PurplePickles aka L&M

Odd your reaction to my 12 little words....so you think the jury should have come to a different conclusion than guilty Butch? Interesting...how people perceive things.

MRS M

CD...you simply MUST give up on regurgitating Tucker Carlson. Frankly, it's hateful, embarassing, shameful and racist; and so reeking of desperation. But speaking of deranged thinking........ at least it lets us all know where you get your "ideas' from.

PurplePickles aka L&M

I don't think Butch has had an original thought since..........? probably never

bosco

Looks like we have some closet Fox watchers CD. They always seem to think they know a lot about Fox's programming. Must be why CNN's ratings have dropped.

PurplePickles aka L&M

Unfortunately or fortunately one does not need to watch Fox to know what is being said on Fox...

Tucker Carlson: Public support for George Floyd is an 'attack on civilization'

On Fox News Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson did not appear to be pleased with the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

https://www.rawstory.com/tucker-carlson-civilization/

Tucker Carlson Goes Into ‘Meltdown’ Mode While Covering Derek Chauvin Conviction

The Fox News hosted laughed maniacally before abruptly terminating an interview with a former corrections official.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tucker-carlson-derek-chauvin-verdict_n_607fa3a1e4b047b9f8b40e4d

So Stimpy see we don't need to watch Fox news to know what is being said on Fox News....understand?

MRS M

Purple......Thanks for your excellent clarification above for Bosco.

WHO KNEW??.....that Bosco could only limits his "news" viewing/reading to FOXState TV? Guess that explains alot.................. including why he may have missed that Tucker's incendiary, ugly, and desperate rhetoric is being covered most everywhere lately. Perhaps Bosco should increase the range of outlets where he gets HIS news in the future..

bosco

The America system of Justice works. Was there anyone, who having viewied the knee on the neck video thought that Chauvin was not guilty of murder?

shiftless88

Lots of people.

Greg F

Yeah....there are lots of people....and I always keep this in mind. Half the people you meet on an average day are below average intelligence. I'd be that "lots of people" are either on the lower end of that bell curve of that trait, or are the same rabid racist crew that backed an orange dumazz former POTUS and still do.

shiftless88

bosco is just trying to appear normal and pretend that he isn't associated with all those crazies

Greg F

bet, not be

gabrielshorn2013

It all depends on the crowd you run with, GregF, and the circumstances of that meeting. If I am at a professional conference for physicians, scientists, or engineers, your analogy certainly does not hold true.

threecents

Lots and lots of people - nearly everyone of them loyal to Trump.

Reader84

I guess justice happened. What a shame someone passed away but case in point. Do not resist when your in process of doing illegal activity. Poor police can’t even look at people crooked now without people wining.

shiftless88

Well, he wasn't resisting for several minutes when he was passed out and before he died. Just because you resist (note that it wasn't even clear why they needed to take him into custody) doesn't mean you should die. He didn't hit anyone or pull a weapon. Don't even try to justify this.

Greg F

Your hood is showing.

Greg F

Boxco....pretending for one day he isn't rabidly racist....

bosco

That's your fallback position on everything, isn't it Doctor Fed Up GregF? And it all started when you called me a racist for not wanting to buy a bicycle made in China. [lol][lol][lol]

Dwasserba

I believe the clerk thinks Floyd may have had no idea the $20 was counterfeit. He paid for something and left the store, then the store owner sends the clerk out to the car over this $20. How out of the blue this could seem.

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