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Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, has been found guilty on all three charges he was faced with.
His most serious conviction is second-degree murder, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years in Minnesota. The other charges were third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, which carry maximum penalties of 25 years and 10 years in prison, respectively.
White officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on African-American Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, sparking mass protests against racism last summer.
Chauvin, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, nodded towards the judge as his bail was revoked, and he was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom. He will remain in police custody until his sentencing in June.
The jury came to the unanimous decision after hearing a wide range of testimony from witnesses presented by both the defence and prosecution during the three-week trial, but only needed about 10 hours of deliberation to reach a verdict.
Although he had the option to tell the jury his side of the story, Chauvin declined to testify, after invoking the 5th Amendment in court in Minneapolis.
US President Joe Biden has said the conviction of a former police officer in the killing of George Floyd “can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America”, but that such a verdict is “much too rare”.
People gathered outside the court in Minneapolis erupted in cheers upon hearing that Derek Chauvin had been found guilty of all charges over George Floyd’s death.