Derek Chauvin Found Guilty of Murdering George Floyd
The decision is a small win, but the fight for justice is far from over.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. The jury serving on Chauvin’s trial deliberated for 10 hours, ultimately finding the 45-year-old guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin’s trial comes to a close after three weeks, which saw prosecutors argue that the ex-officer’s use of force — a knee pressed on Floyd’s neck — ultimately killed Floyd. The defense argued that Floyd’s underlying heart issues were the culprit. Chauvin will be sentenced in the coming weeks and faces up to 40 years in prison. He has no prior convictions, and is therefore likely to receive a much lighter sentence.
The jury’s verdict is a watershed moment for the Black Lives Matter movement. Members of law enforcement are rarely held accountable for abuse of power, particularly when the victims are Black. In fact, Chauvin becomes the first white police officer in Minnesota state history to be convicted of killing a Black person, according to the ACLU. “While today’s verdict is a small win for police accountability and may help heal a grieving community, the systems that allowed George to be murdered — ripping him away from his family and the communities that loved him so much — remain fully intact,” the organization wrote, continuing, “True justice for George Floyd means renewing our conviction to create a world where police do not have the opportunity to use violence to target Black people.”