Derek Chauvin guilty of George Floyd’s murder

The former police officer was charged with killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, which was captured on video footage in May 2020…reports Asian Lite News

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges in the murder trial of African-American George Floyd by a jury in the Hennepin County court.

The 12 jurors found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death in May 2020.

It further reported that the maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is imprisonment of not more than 40 years. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment of not more than 25 years. The maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or USD 20,000.

Chauvin was handcuffed in the courtroom and taken into custody by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

Judge Peter Cahill said, “eight weeks from now we will have sentencing.” Cahill thanked the jurors for what he called “heavy duty” service in the case.

The former officer was charged with killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, which was captured on video footage in May 2020 and triggered nationwide demonstrations for racial justice.

Attorney Ben Crump and Floyd’s family released a statement following the conviction of Chauvin, saying, “today’s verdict goes far beyond this city and has significant implications for the country and even the world,” CNN reported.

US President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.
Biden, Harris speaks to Floyd’s family

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday spoke to the family of George Floyd after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the African-American’s death.

“We’re all so relieved, not just one verdict but all three. Guilty on all three counts. It’s really important,” The Hill quoted Biden as saying. He said that “I’m anxious to see you guys. We’re going to get a lot more done. We’re going to do a lot. We’re going to stay at it until we get it done”.

Biden told the family he had been watching the verdict come in alongside senior adviser Cedric Richmond and Harris.

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Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Floyd family, expressed optimism that the outcome of the trial could spur action on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Biden said he would fly the family out to Washington DC, on Air Force One for the occasion, The Hill reported.

Harris praised the Floyd family as “real leaders” at a pivotal moment in history.

“In George’s name and memory we are going to make sure his legacy is intact and that history will look back at this moment,” The Hill quoted Harris as saying. “But we really do believe that with your leadership and the President that we have in the White House that we’re going to make something good come out of this tragedy.”

‘A giant step forward’

Nothing can ever bring George Floyd back but this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America, President said after Chauvin’s conviction.

While addressing the nation, Biden said “Today, a jury in Minnesota found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. The verdict is a step forward. And while nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America.”

“No one should be above the law. Today’s verdict sends that message, but it is not enough. We can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this ever occur.

“There’s meaningful police reform legislation in George Floyd’s name, but it shouldn’t take a year to get it done. I assured the Floyd family that we’re going to continue to fight for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act so I can sign it into law right away,” he added.

The US President further said: “‘I can’t breathe’ — those were George Floyd’s last words. We cannot let them die with him. We have to keep hearing them. We must not turn away. We cannot turn away.”

“This can be a moment of significant change.

“Let there be a legacy of peace, not violence. Those who see to exploit raw emotions of the moment, fan the flames of division, we can’t let them succeed. This is the time to unite as Americans and fight racial prejudice,” he added.

‘Right thing, but requires much more’

Hour after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the murder trial of African-American George Floyd, former US President Barack Obama said the jury did the right thing but true justice requires much more.

Issuing a statement on Twitter, Obama said, “For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?

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“In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.”

“True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest,” he added.

MINNEAPOLIS, May 30, 2020 (Xinhua) — Protesters hold their hands in the air during a protest in Minneapolis, the United States, May 29, 2020. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced on Friday a mandatory nighttime curfew following three straight nights of growing protests and violence in the biggest city in U.S. midwest state of Minnesota over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody. (Photo by Angus Alexander/Xinhua/IANS)

Obama further said: “We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalised.”

“And as we continue the fight, we can draw strength from the millions of people especially young people who have marched and protested and spoken up over the last year, shining a light on inequity and calling for change. Justice is closer today not simply because of this verdict, but because of their work,” his statement added.

Offering prayers to the Floyd family, the former US President said, “Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.”

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