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Breaking: Ex-US Police Officer, Derek Chauvin Found Guilty Of All Three Charges In George Floyd’s Death

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Ex-US Police Officer, Derek Chauvin Found Guilty Of All Three Charges In George Floyd’s DeathFormer Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin has on Tuesday, April 20 been found found guilty of all counts—including two murder charges—by a jury for his role in the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. The former policeman, who is white,  was recorded kneeling on Floyd’s neck and back for more than 9 minutes on May 25 as he called for his mother and cried, ‘I can’t breathe’. Floyd, 46, died that day.

Floyd’s death touched off international protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Read Also: 4 US Policemen Sacked Over Death Of African American Man, George Floyd, After Policeman  Pinned Him Down By Throat With His Knee

The 12-person jury settled upon their verdict after less than a day of deliberation and the unanimous verdict was read in the late afternoon on Tuesday at Hennepin County Court and live streamed for the world to watch.

In court, Chauvin wore a mask and looked on as the verdict was read.

He faces up to 75 years in prison when he returns for sentencing in eight weeks. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years. Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years.

The third-degree murder charge was initially dismissed, but it was reinstated after an appeals court ruling in an unrelated case established new grounds for it days before jury selection started.

Read Also: George Floyd: Derek Chauvin’s Charge Upgraded To 2nd-Degree Murder, Charges Of Other 3 Cops’ Announced

During the weeks-long trial, watched by millions across the U.S., prosecutors argued the arrest had unfolded exactly as it appeared in the video captured by a teenage bystander that initially drew the nation’s attention to the case.

The state called in a litany of police use-of-force experts and medical professionals to testify that Chauvin acted unnecessarily when he used his knee to pin Floyd to the ground for more than nine minutes over a counterfeit $20 note, and that his actions ultimately killed Floyd due to oxygen deprivation.

Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw,” prosecutor Steve Schleicher said in closing arguments.

Meanwhile, Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson appealed to jurors that the case was more complicated than the footage let on, highlighting the minutes leading up to the arrest.

Nelson argued Chauvin followed his training in the midst of a “dynamic” and “fluid” situation involving a large man struggling with three officers, and that Floyd instead died of other factors, including drugs and underlying conditions.

Witnesses testified in support of both arguments, but the medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy testified that it was ultimately the police restraint that overwhelmed Floyd’s already overburdened heart.

Read Also: George Floyd Died From ‘Low-Level Of Oxygen’ – Doctor

Twelve jurors deliberated for about 10 hours from Monday afternoon after closing arguments until Tuesday afternoon.

The jury included four white women, two white men, one black woman and two multiracial women. They listened to 45 witnesses – 38 from the prosecution and seven from the defense.

Jurors deliberated in a government building in downtown Minneapolis and were sequestered in a hotel every night.

As jurors deliberated, the nation and particularly Minneapolis braced for the decision, boarding up businesses and preparing for protests and unrest.

Before the verdict, more than 3,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were deployed to the area.

Many people evacuated buildings and left downtown Minneapolis in anticipation of the decision, while activists gathered outside the courtroom and at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where Floyd died.

The other three officers involved in Floyd’s arrest—Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng—are scheduled to stand trial together in August. They face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and second degree murder.

Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump, tweeted just minutes after the verdict was read, saying;

GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!

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