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Chauvin convicted of murder and manslaughter in death of George Floyd


Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.

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He was immediately taken into custody after the jury announced its verdicts Tuesday afternoon, and he will be sentenced in the coming weeks.

The verdicts came less than a full day after closing arguments in the three-week trial concluded. One local man called it "a new day in America." Minnesota leaders hailed it as justice served. Former president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama called it "the right thing," and President Biden called the Floyd family.

Following the reading of the jury's unanimous verdict that found Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill instructed Chauvin to be immediately remanded into custody of the Hennepin County sheriff after revoking the defendant's bond.

Chauvin will now wait in jail until sentencing in eight weeks. Meanwhile, defense attorney Eric Nelson is expected to begin preparing an appeal based on several concepts.

One of the possible arguments Nelson could make is related to the improper influence of extensive media coverage of the case and the trial on the jury, and more particularly, based on what Nelson described as "threatening and intimidating" comments made by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., over the weekend. Waters told protesters they should be more "confrontational" if Chauvin was found not guilty.

People gather at George Floyd Plaza after hearing that Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts on April 20, 2021 in Minneapolis. He was immediately taken into custody following the reading of the verdicts. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Michael Robinson Chavez

A state court of appeals would then review the case and make the final decision, or it could send the case back to trial for additional proceedings. The defense could also request that the Minnesota Supreme Court review the case.

Less than an hour after jurors found Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges, prosecutors thanked the jury for making what they called the "right and decent" choice to convict the former Minneapolis police officer in the murder of George Floyd.

Standing outside the courtroom Tuesday afternoon, special prosecutor Steve Schleicher, who presented the closing arguments, said it was a privilege to get to know Floyd's family. He added he was grateful that he and the rest of the prosecution were able to bring a conviction.

"I want to thank the jury for their service, for doing what was right and decent and correct and speaking truth and finding the right verdict in this case," Schleicher said.

He was followed by colleague Jerry Blackwell, who borrowed a saying from the late Georgia congressman John Lewis. Blackwell thanked those who filmed Floyd's death, saying they "had the willingness, the courage, the passion, the intestinal fortitude to get into good trouble."

Published : April 21, 2021

By : The Washington Post · Timothy Bella, Keith McMillan, Abigail Hauslohner