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George Floyd officer convicted of murder

BY: CNN
Floyd
George Floyd officer convicted of murder

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."

After Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges against him for the murder of George Floyd, Floyd's girlfriend Courteney Ross told reporters outside the courthouse that she hadn’t doubted this would be the outcome reached.

“This is a huge day for the world," she said.

“We’re finally starting to see. We walked around with eyes wide shut for a long time, so they’re starting to open today, and this is going to be the first in a future of change,” Ross added. “For me, it means that my friends and people that have also lost loved ones now have a chance to get their cases reopened.”

Ross said Floyd brought change: "He changed my world. He changed the world. He changed everybody.” 

Minnesota attorney general commends those who recorded video for "simple yet profound acts of courage"

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison praised the community members who recorded the video of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin placing his knee on George Floyd's neck.

"They stopped and they raised their voices because they knew what they were seeing was wrong. They didn't need to be medical professions or experts in the use of force. They knew it was wrong, and they were right. These community members, this bouquet of humanity, did it again in this trial. They performed simple yet profound acts of courage," Ellison said. "They told the truth, and they told the whole world the truth about what they saw."

"What happened on that street was wrong. .... We owe them our gratitude for fulfilling their civic duty and for their courage in telling the truth," he added. "To countless people in Minnesota and across the United States who join them in peacefully demanding justice for George Floyd, we say, all of us, thank you."

Minneapolis mayor: The jury "refused to look away" and affirmed that Floyd "should still be here today"

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey commended the jury following the conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd.

“George Floyd came to Minneapolis to better his life. But ultimately his life will have bettered our city,” Frey tweeted. “The jury joined in a shared conviction that has animated Minneapolis for the last 11 months. They refused to look away and affirmed he should still be here today.”

What it was like in the courtroom when the verdict was read

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper and Josh Campbell in Minneapolis

The courtroom was silent as the verdict was read, pool reporters inside, including CNN’s Josh Campbell, noted. 

Derek Chauvin appeared to be in a daze while waiting for the jury to arrive and was staring at the empty jury seating area, Campbell reported. He snapped out of it after a few seconds when his attorney, Eric Nelson, spoke with him.

At one point, Chauvin turned to look at Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, who was praying, the pool reporters noted.   

Philonise Floyd waited for the verdict in the courtroom with his head bowed and hands clasped. He appeared to alternate between praying, looking up towards Chauvin, and looking down praying again.

As the first guilty verdict was read, his hands began shaking while clasped. They became shakier during the second verdict and during the third, his hands were shaking back and forth with his eyes closed as his head nodded up and down.

After the court concluded, Philonise was seen crying as he hugged all four prosecutors, Campbell observed. Prosecutor Steve Schleicher’s eyes were also red as he wiped away tears.  

"I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice,” Philonise told Campbell after the verdict. 

In court, the seat reserved for Chauvin’s family was occupied by a middle-aged white woman with long brown hair and glasses who declined to give her name to reporters.

When Chauvin was remanded into custody, the bailiff told him “Mr. Chauvin, please place your hands behind your back.”

He handcuffed the former Minneapolis police officer’s left hand, then his right, the pool reporters observed. The handcuffs were not double locked in the courtroom. 

After reading the verdicts, Judge Peter Cahill confirmed with each of the jurors that the three guilty convictions were correct. 

The foreperson, juror 19, signed each of the verdict slips. He is a white male in his 30s who works as an auditor, according to information shared during jury selection. 

As the verdict was read, there was no noticeable emotional reaction from the jury, Campbell noted. Whereas during trial, they each had their own idiosyncrasies, they remained still and quiet staring at the judge until they were called upon by the judge.

“I have to thank you on behalf of the people of the state of Minnesota for not just jury service but heavy-duty jury service,” Cahill told the 12 jurors. 

Largest police union in the country says "justice has worked as it should"

The nation’s largest police union said moments after Derek Chauvin’s verdict that “justice has worked as it should.” 

The National Fraternal Order of Police, which represents the nation’s more than 350,000 police officers, called the trial “fair” and said “due process was served,” according to a statement released by the organization on Twitter. 

“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.”

Biden, Harris and first lady speak with Philonise Floyd after the verdict

The President and vice president watched the Derek Chauvin verdict with staff in the private dining room.

Following the guilty verdict, President Biden spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. The President, Vice President Kamala Harris, and first lady Jill Biden also spoke with Philonise Floyd from the Oval Office.

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump confirmed the news and thanked them for their support.

Biden and Harris will deliver remarks on Chauvin verdict "later this evening"

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks “later this evening” on the Derek Chauvin verdict, the White House said Tuesday.

The statement Biden is preparing to deliver had been pre-written and updated, and will contain themes about healing and justice, an aide said.

Aides have been working on the language for a presidential statement over the course of the past week or so. There was different language prepared for various outcomes in the trial, though all versions included acknowledgement of the outpouring prompted by Floyd's death.

Biden watched the verdict announcement from the West Wing.

The President made his view on the trial clear earlier today when answering CNN's Kaitlan Collins' question in the Oval Office, saying he was praying for the "right verdict" and suggesting he found the evidence presented by the prosecution “overwhelming.” 

credit: CNN