George Floyd: Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty of murder

A jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder over the death of George Floyd.

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Chauvin, 45, was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May.

The jury after nine hours’ deliberation that it had reached a verdict which would be read to the court.

US President Joe Biden had said he was praying for the “right verdict” in the trial. Biden, who spoke to Floyd’s family on Monday, said he believed the case was “overwhelming”.

The 12 sequestered jurors considered three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police officials and medical experts, along with hours of video evidence in the most high-profile US case involving accusations of police misconduct in decades.

Chauvin, who is white, pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree “depraved mind” murder and second-degree manslaughter.

All three charges required that jurors find that Chauvin’s acts were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death, but none require that they find he intended to kill Floyd.

In an arrest captured on video, Chauvin pushed his knee into the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old handcuffed Black man, for more than nine minutes outside the grocery store where Floyd had been accused of buying cigarettes with a fake $20 bill.

Floyd’s relatives, many of them travelling from Texas, have taken turns sitting in a single chair reserved for them in the courtroom.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, in court.
Derek Chauvin, right, in court during the trial. Photo: AFP / Court TV

The jury is comprised of four white women, two white men, three Black men, one Black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records. The court has promised to shield their identities until some time after they give their verdict. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill presided over the trial.

The courthouse is surrounded by high barricades and guarded by National Guard troops. Many downtown businesses have boarded up their windows for fear of a repeat of the violent street clashes that unfolded last year between police in riot gear and protesters, some of whom set fire to a police precinct house and damaged nearby property.

– Reuters

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