Minnesota Attorney General Calls Chauvin Guilty Verdict 'First Step' Toward Justice

Tanya Simon
April 21, 2021

The former police officer has been convicted on all three charges - second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter.

In Chile, tweeted journalist Patricio López, "George Floyd would be a Mapuche", referring to an Indigenous group that has been subject to discrimination and police violence. Must Black death be caught on camera, and the slaughter be so perfectly brutal, and the resulting protest be so overwhelming, to get an arrest, trial and conviction?

If the jury in the Chauvin case were to come back with a conviction on third-degree murder only, Chauvin "obviously could never be tried again on the other charges" because of his protection against double jeopardy, said Mike Brandt, a local defense attorney who has been closely following Chauvin's trial.

He said the guilty verdicts against Chauvin for killing George Floyd last May were the culmination of "long, hard, painstaking work". This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement.

With that outcome, Black Americans from Missouri to Florida to Minnesota cheered, marched, hugged, waved signs and sang jubilantly in the streets.

Mr Floyd's brother, Rodney Floyd, was emotional as he described crying tears of joy at the historic ruling. "It should have been something routine but look at how tense everyone was because we are not convinced that justice exists for people like me in the United States", he said.

President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris called the Floyd family right after the verdict.

"Finally we did get some justice", Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, a Black man who died at the hands of police in New York City in 2014, said after pronouncing herself "elated" at the verdict.

Former US president Barack Obama issued a statement on his and his wife's behalf, saying the jury "did the right thing" but more is required.

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Fresh fighting erupted in the region, drawing in Deby who died, according to the army , from injuries sustained fighting rebels. On the issue of Deby's replacement, Yates said: " Expect things to get messy during the transition".

"True justice requires much more", Obama wrote.

It was a trial that gripped the nation for weeks. The SYSTEM that let him murder George Floyd must be changed.

The NFL also released a statement on Chauvin being found guilty.

All three charges required that jurors find that Mr Chauvin's acts were a "substantial causal factor" in Mr Floyd's death but none required that they find he meant to kill Mr Floyd.

There were reports that Chauvin had 18 complaints filed against him before he killed Floyd.

In a trial that opened on March 29, the defense argued that Chauvin behaved as any "reasonable police officer" would have under these circumstances, and sought to raise doubts about the cause of Floyd's death, saying heart disease or even the exhaust fumes from the nearby police vehicle may have been factors.

Biden, speaking at the White House on Thursday, said Floyd's killing had "ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism" and called on lawmakers to pass police reform legislation named in his honor.

Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on the neck of George Floyd for more than nine minutes after he was stopped for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill.

The courthouse was surrounded by high barricades and guarded by National Guard troops. Some of the protests turned violent and led to property damage and injuries.

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