Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murdering George Floyd

Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of killing George Floyd, after kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes.

Floyd’s murder sparked outrage and protests across the globe in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to end racial injustice in the U.S.

Chauvin was charged with the murder and manslaughter of Floyd, after a 12-person jury deliberated for 10 hours to reach a unanimous verdict.

George Floyd
Image: Herald Sun

The white, former Minneapolis officer has been found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. While guidelines for an offender with no criminal record suggest a maximum sentence of 12.5 years, Chauvin could face up to 40 years imprisonment.

Hundreds of people outside the fortified Minneapolis courthouse cheered upon hearing the verdict, with people chanting:

“All three counts” and “Whose victory? Our victory!”

“Don’t let anyone tell you protest doesn’t work,” a man told the crowd through a bullhorn.

Chauvin murdered 46-year-old Floyd in May last year by pinning him to the ground so he couldn’t breathe, in what has now been declared a criminal assault.

Floyd’s brother, Philonise, who was the only family member to appear in court, sat praying and visibly shaking in the minutes before the verdict. As the verdicts were announced, Philonise closed his eyes and looked relieved.

“I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice,” he said afterwards.

Derek Chauvin
Image: Reuters

Civil rights attorney and the Floyd family lawyer, Ben Crump, said that the conviction marked a “turning point in history” for the United States’ deep divisions over racial inequality and persecution.

“Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family,” Crump tweeted as Chauvin was found guilty.

“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!”

While conservative commentators have questioned the fairness of the trial due to the verdicts being reached on the second day of deliberation, many point to the horrific nine-minute and 29-second video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, as a major reason that jurors believed a murder had been committed.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the announcement of the verdict, U.S. President Joe Biden called for the “right” decision in the racially charged trial.

Now, many are turning their attention towards disrupting the larger systemic factors that create and maintain racial persecution within the U.S. and globally, including renewed proposals to abolish current Police forces.