Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all charges in the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck while he pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

People in Houston & apos;s Third Ward watch the verdict announcement.
Reaction to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict
A man reacts outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday, April 20.
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The Floyd family, the Rev. Al Sharpton, attorney Ben Crump and other close allies called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in a post-verdict news conference that was in turns triumphant, joyous, relieved and solemn.

“We frame this moment for all of us, not just George Floyd,” Crump said. “This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, those who champion justice over injustice, those who champion morals over immorality.”

For Philonise Floyd, who testified about his brother at the trial, the verdict was personal.

“I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity for, hopefully, getting some sleep,” he said. “A lot of days that I prayed and I hoped and I was speaking everything into existence. I said I have faith that he will be convicted.”

Minnesota’s Twin Cities are once again the national flashpoint over race and policing
Minnesota’s Twin Cities are once again the national flashpoint over race and policing
After the verdict, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke on the phone with the Floyd family and their attorneys, according to video posted by Crump.

“Nothing is going to make it all better,” Biden told them, but “at least now there’s some justice.”

Biden, in addressing the nation later, said, “Nothing can ever bring their brother or their father back. But this can be a giant step forward in the march towards justice in America.”

The President said that in order for their to be real change, lawmakers must help ensure a tragedy like this cannot happen and that people of color no longer fear being stopped by police.

He said he told the Floyd family “we’re going to continue to fight for the passage of George Floyd Justice in Policing Act so I can sign it into law as quickly as possible. There is more to do. Finally it is the work we do every day to change hearts and minds as well as laws and policies. That’s the work we have to do.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case, cautioned that the verdicts were not the end of the road.

“I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice,” he said.

The nation’s largest police union, the National Fraternal Order of Police, also praised the trial as fair.

“Our system of justice has worked as it should, with the prosecutors and defense presenting their evidence to the jury, which then deliberated and delivered a verdict,” the statement read. “The trial was fair and due process was served. We hope and expect that all of our fellow citizens will respect the rule of law and remain peaceful tonight and in the days to come.”

Prosecutor says trial is ‘pro-police’

Prosecutors called 38 witnesses over the course of three separate phases of the trial.

First, bystanders at the scene testified about their fear and horror as they watched Floyd slowly die under Chauvin’s restraint. Next, a series of police supervisors and use-of-force experts — including Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo — criticized Chauvin’s continued kneeling as excessive and unreasonable, particularly after Floyd had passed out, stopped breathing and had no pulse.

Finally, five separate medical experts explained that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen when Chauvin restricted his ability to breathe in what’s known as “positional asphyxia.”

In the state’s closing argument, Schleicher said Chauvin knelt on Floyd for so long because of his pride and his ego in the face of concerned bystanders.

Closing arguments offer colliding views of Derek Chauvin’s role in George Floyd’s death
Closing arguments offer colliding views of Derek Chauvin’s role in George Floyd’s death
“He was not going to let these bystanders tell him what to do. He was going to do what he wanted, how he wanted, for as long as he wanted. And there was nothing, nothing they can do about it because he had the authority. He had the power, and the other officers, the bystanders were powerless,” he said. “He was trying to win, and George Floyd paid for it with his life.”

He contrasted Chauvin’s “ego-based pride” with the proper feelings of pride in wearing a police badge and praised policing as a noble profession. He insisted the state was prosecuting Chauvin individually — not policing in general.

“This is not an anti-police prosecution; it is a pro-police prosecution,” he said. “There is nothing worse for good police than bad police.”

In response, Nelson said Chauvin acted as a “reasonable officer” would in that situation and said there was no evidence he intentionally or purposefully used force that was unlawful.

“You have to take into account that officers are human beings, capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations,” Nelson said. “In this case, the totality of the circumstances that were known to a reasonable police officer in the precise moment the force was used demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be. This is reasonable doubt.”

The three other former officers on scene — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. They have pleaded not guilty, and their joint trial will be held this summer. source CNN

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