Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday on all counts in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man whose killing sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality across the world.
The jury, after about a day of deliberations, found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The verdict was read by Judge Peter Cahill at the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, where the trial began last month.
The crowds that had gathered to wait for the news of the verdict outside the court erupted in cheers and chants of “George Floyd” after the conviction was announced.
“Justice for Black America is justice for all of America,” the Floyd family’s attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement. “This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”
The judge, following the verdict, revoked Chauvin’s bail and he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
So what’s next for the former Minneapolis cop?
Sentencing will take place in about eight weeks, according to Judge Cahill. Since October, Chauvin had been out on bail. But since the judge revoked his bail following the verdict, he will now wait for sentencing in jail.
Chauvin was transferred to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, a correctional facility in Stillwater, about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis, CNN reported. Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesperson Sarah Fitzgerald said Chauvin is there through an agreement between the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter. Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend about 12.5 years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge. However, prosecutors say “they want an additional penalty, called an enhancement, because of certain aggravating factors,” NPR national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson said, adding that Judge Cahill will be the one to decide the sentence. Johnson said the judge has ordered a report on Chauvin’s background on the most serious charge, that is second-degree murder charge.
The three other officers charged
The three former Minneapolis police officers are next to go to trial in the death of Floyd. Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are charged with aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. The three will stand trial in court together from August 23 in Hennepin County.
Chauvin was convicted of killing Floyd, 46, on May 25, 2020, at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue after he was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. The three other officers are accused of failing to stop Chauvin from killing Floyd.