MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, the explosive case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The jury of six whites and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict Tuesday after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days.
Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a white officer, pinned his knee on or close to the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes.
In the wake of Floyd’s death, demonstrations and scattered violence broke out in Minneapolis, around the country and beyond. The furor also led to the removal of Confederate statues and other offensive symbols such as Aunt Jemima.
In the months that followed, numerous states and cities restricted the use of force by police, revamped disciplinary systems or subjected police departments to closer oversight.
The jury found Derek Chauvin, 45, guilty of all three charges — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He 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 second-degree manslaughter.
President Joe Biden welcomed the verdict, saying Floyd’s death was “a murder in full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world” to see systemic racism.
But he warned: “It’s not enough. We can’t stop here. We’re going to deliver real change and reform. We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again.”
The jury’s decision was hailed around the country as justice by other political and civic leaders and celebrities, including former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a white man, who said on Twitter that Floyd “would still be alive if he looked like me. That must change.”