Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, NY Times reported.
Chauvin was found guilty on all three of the charges of committing first-, second-and third-degree murder of Floyd, an unarmed Black man who repeatedly told Chauvin and other officers he was in distress and could not breathe.
On Monday, jurors in the Chauvin trial deliberated for more than four hours following a full day of closing arguments from both the prosecution and defense attorney. The prosecution rested the state’s case a little afternoon on Monday after addressing jurors for a little more than an hour and a half, imploring the panel to “believe their eyes” and what they saw in the extended video of Floyd’s detention and his subsequent death after Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
The attorney who delivered closing arguments for the state told jurors that “being big is not a crime” and that Chauvin wasn’t using reasonable force to restrain Floyd, but that he was inflicting pain, and that Floyd dies “looking into the eyes of strangers” rather than the face of a loved one as he called out for his mother.
Keith Ellison, the attorney general of Minnesota, spoke during a press conference live on CNN about how the verdict impacted the nation and world.
“Everyone involved has pursued one goal: justice,” he said. “We pursued justice wherever it led … I want to thank the community for giving us that time and allowing us to do our work — that long, hard painstaking work has culminated today,” Ellison said, adding that while he wouldn’t call today’s verdict as justice, but accountability, which he described as “the first step toward justice.”
“And now the cause of justice is in … the hands of the people of the United States,” he added. “George Floyd mattered — he was loved by his family and friends. His death (shook) the conscious … of the whole world.”
He added that Floyd mattered because he was a human being.
“I urge everyone to honor the legacy of George Floyd … to continue the transformation of justice — it is in your hands now,” he said.
Michigan’s Community Leader’s weighed in on the verdict:
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans called the verdict a turning point. “The conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is, I hope, a turning point for our country and for policing in our country. As both a career law enforcement officer and a Black man, the video of the killing of George Floyd was difficult to watch. It was even more painful to witness people claim that what we all saw didn’t really happen. The jury today made clear with this verdict that this was exactly what we knew it was.
“George Floyd was murdered. George Floyd did not deserve to die that day. George Floyd did not deserve to be treated with violence and disrespect by officers whose job it is to serve—not occupy—our communities.
“Too often and for too long, People of Color, especially Black men, have been expected to accept police violence as a part of life. This verdict makes clear that police violence is not acceptable. It makes clear that Black lives do matter. Let us build on this moment of justice delivered toward a fairer, more equitable society for all.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist issued the following statements after the verdict was delivered:
“For George Floyd and his family, justice. For the rest of us, a reminder to continue pushing for justice in every corner of our society. My heart is with George Floyd’s family, and I want them to know that millions of Michiganders, Minnesotans, and Americans mourn with them. No verdict can bring George back, but his legacy will live on. Last year, millions of people around the world spoke with a collective voice when we said Black Lives Matter. Together, we will continue tackling the deep-rooted, structural racism and inequity present in our institutions and faced by Black Americans every day. Our work is just getting started. I think George’s daughter Gianna Floyd said it best, “Daddy changed the world.” — Governor Gretchen Whitmer
“Today, justice was served for George Floyd and his family. As a Black man in America, I have felt the sting of racism and injustice personally, and too many of our brothers and sisters know the visceral pain and exhaustion that communities of color face every day. That is why we must honor George Floyd’s legacy and the legacy of countless others as we advance justice and tackle inequities through our words and deeds. We have to address the pain that so many individuals are feeling with purpose as we work towards restoring the respect that all individuals of color deserve. When we do that, we can ensure that everyone makes it home to their loved ones at the end of the day. This verdict is a good outcome, and it was made possible by the community organizers, faith leaders, and law enforcement officers, who had to courage to make their voices heard, but the work is not done. We must continue to press for policies that protect and expand access to justice and opportunity.” — Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist
This story was still developing at the time of print. Stay tuned to MichiganChronicle.com for updates.