The verdict is in.
Jurors deliberated for hours today (April 20) and former cop Derrick Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges. He was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He pled not guilty.
On April 19, the prosecution made their closing arguments. Prosecutor, Steve Schleicher, argued Chauvin “acted with cruelty and indifference unbefitting of a police officer.” He went on to say Chauvin should be convicted of murder in Floyd’s death. Schleicher, described Chauvin as a “police officer who had not followed the department’s policies while making it clear that prosecutors were not criticizing policing as a whole.”
In the closing arguments, Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, argued his client acted as any “reasonable” officer would. Nelson argued Floyd’s past drug use and medical history contributed to his death rather than Chauvin’s use of force.
Nelson moved for a mistrial on April 20 over comments made by House Representative Maxine Waters. Over the weekend, she spoke to reporters in Minneapolis and suggested protesters should “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is acquitted. The defense argued this was “intimidation of a jury.” Judge Pete Cahill denied the motion for a mistrial. Still, he told the defense team they “may have grounds for an appeal.
Before the trial, peaceful protesters marched around, chanting for Floyd. Floyd was killed last year on May 25 after Chauvin had his knee pinned down on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. In heartbreaking footage, you can hear Floyd beg and say, “I can’t breathe.” He also called for his mother while taking his last breaths.
Justice was served, but theres still work that needs to be done. Barack Obama said in a statement, “we still can’t rest!”