A jury has convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, whose death last year set off worldwide protests against racial injustice.
Chauvin, 45, was found guilty on all three charges — second-degree and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The second-degree murder count, the most serious of the three, carries a prison sentence of up to 40 years.
Wearing a grey suit, a blue tie and a mask, Chauvin furrowed his brow only slightly when the verdict was read. He was led away in handcuffs and will be sentenced in eight weeks.
Speaking after the verdict, Keith Ellison, the Minnesota attorney-general who led the prosecution, said: “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.”
The trial in Minneapolis has been one of the most closely watched US court cases in years, and came at a time of calls for greater accountability after police kill people of colour while performing their duties. Jury selection began on March 9, and opening statements began on March 29. Jurors deliberated for about 10 hours before announcing they had reached a verdict.
In May last year, Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while arresting him for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill.