Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd. Those charges included second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. A conviction as rare as this for police officer is being seen as a defining moment in U.S. history. The verdict came down after the jury deliberated for more than 10 hours.
- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the “verdict is an important step forward for justice,” but there is still work left to do. He called for a continued “march for justice” and said the only way the state will change is “through systemic reform.”
- Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he would “not call today’s verdict justice,” but did say that it is “accountability.”
- Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey commended the jury and said they “refused to look away” and affirmed that Floyd “should still be here today.”
- Former President Barack Obama said “the jury did the right thing,” adding “we cannot rest.”
- Floyd family attorney Ben Crump reflected on the significance of the decision at a news conference after the verdict saying, “We frame this moment for all of us, not just for George Floyd. This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, those who champion justice over injustice, those who champion morals over immorality. America, let’s lean into this moment.”
- Vice President Kamala Harris and President Biden addressed the country calling the verdict a “giant step forward in the march towards justice in America.” The President said he talked to Floyd’s daughter and told her, “daddy did change the world.”
Sentencing is slated to take place in the coming weeks. The maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is imprisonment of not more than 40 years. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment of not more than 25 years. The maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or $20,000.