The panel of seven women and five male jurors reached a verdict in the murder trial for Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on all counts of killing George Floyd in Minneapolis.
After being sequestered on Monday afternoon, April 19 following closing arguments from both sides, the jury announced the guilty verdict of Chauvin late in the afternoon on Tuesday, April 20 to a resounding cheer from crowds that gathered outside the courtroom.
The verdict arrived after approximately 10 hours of deliberations over the two days with it being released at approximately 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday.
Specifically, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
He faces decades in prison when he is sentenced in approximately two months.
The second-degree murder charge carries a maximum 40-year sentence. Sentences for the other charges would be concurrent since they stem from an incident that happened at the same time.
After the verdict was delivered, he was handcuffed and remanded to jail without bail.
Video footage showed that Chauvin pinned Floyd to the pavement with a knee on his back prior to his death, despite protestations from him and others. The incident sparked national unrest, riots, and protests across the country.
Floyd died after the 45-year-old Chauvin, who has since been fired, pinned the 46-year-old Floyd for nearly 10 means as he gasped and exclaimed he couldn’t breathe.
According to reports, in preparation for the verdict being announced, the courthouse was outfitted with concrete barriers, razor wire, as thousands of police officers, and National Guard troopers surrounded the building as a precaution.
Some businesses also reportedly boarded up windows and glass doors in advance of the verdict fearing potential outcry, rioting, or violent demonstrations.
The murder trial for Chauvin began on Monday, March 8. He had been with the Minneapolis Police Department since 2001 prior to his dismissal. Chauvin also reportedly had nearly two dozen complaints on his official record, including allegations of him being unnecessarily aggressive.
Chauvin’s verdict comes days after there was another deadly police shooting involving an African American, this time of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was killed in the nearby Brooklyn Center outside Minneapolis on Sunday, April 11.
“They’re a good family and they’re calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is,” President Joe Biden said this week. “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.”
With chants going on in the background before the verdict was returned, Floyd's girlfriend Batya Ross said addressed his death, adding that she was unsure whether or not a guilty verdict would provide her with any solace, though she was confident in what the jurors would decide.
"George was nothing but fun ... He was silly, and funny, and prayerful, and a man of God, and he was just out of this world," she said. "Floyd was a big man, and he was too big for this Earth, and I see that, he's over all of us right now.
"I know this verdict is coming back guilty and when it does I hope his heart will come through everyone, because he is such a loving man and would just want us to put our arms around each other and love each other today," she added. "So let's show what this building (the courthouse) is supposed to be about, and that's justice."
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