•Faces 12.6 to 40 years in jail
Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin was convicted yesterday of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the deadly arrest of George Floyd.
His conviction represents a milestone in the fraught racial history of the United States(U.S.) and a rebuke of law enforcement’s treatment of Black Americans.
The 12-member jury found Chauvin, 45, criminally liable in Floyd’s death last year after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police officials and medical experts.
Jurors began their deliberations on Monday.
In a confrontation captured on video, Chauvin, who is white, pushed his knee into the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, as he and three fellow officers arrested Floyd, who was accused of using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a grocery store.
Floyd’s death prompted protests against racism and police brutality in many cities in the U.S. and around the world last year.
The courthouse in Minneapolis was surrounded by high barricades and guarded by National Guard troops. .
Under Minnesota sentencing guidelines, Chauvin faces 12-1/2 years in prison for his murder conviction as a first-time criminal offender. Prosecutors could, however, seek a longer sentence up to the maximum of 40 years if Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the trial, determines that there were “aggravating factors.”
In Minnesota, convicted criminals generally leave prison on supervised release after completing two thirds of their sentence. Chauvin had no previous criminal convictions.
Chauvin had pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder involving “intentional infliction of bodily harm,” third-degree unintentional “depraved mind” murder involving an “act eminently dangerous to others,” and second-degree manslaughter involving a death caused by “culpable negligence.”
Factbox: The task before the jury deciding the case against Derek Chauvin
The 12 members of the jury that will render a verdict on the charges leveled against former Minneapolis police o…
Earlier yesterday, President Joe Biden said he had spoken by phone with members of Floyd’s family.
“They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquility, no matter what that verdict is. I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is – I think it’s overwhelming in my view.
I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now, (would) not hear me say that,” Biden told reporters at the White House.