April 21, 2021

The Verdict

On 20 April 2021, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial returned a verdict of guilty on all three charges that he faced:

Second-degree unintentional murder

Third-degree murder; and

Second-degree manslaughter.

George with daughter, Gianna. Image released by the Floyd family.

Chauvin’s bail was immediately revoked and he was taken into custody. He will be back at court for the sentencing phase of the trial on 16 June 2021. In the interim, he will be kept in solitary confinement for his own protection, 23 hours a day. He faces up to 40 years in prison, if he is sentenced consecutively (sentences imposed to run one after the other) for the charges rather than concurrently (all sentences to run at the same time).

It was the first time that a white police officer was convicted of killing a Black civilian in the US, despite the 100s of times that Black people have lost their lives at the hands of the police.

The Trial

The evidence in the case was heard from 8 March to 15 April 2021 at the Hennepin County Government Centre in Minneapolis, with closing speeches and judge’s summing up on Friday 16 April and Monday 19 April. The jury were sequestered to deliberate on the evidence from Monday 19 to Tuesday 20 April, 2021, taking 10 hours to return a unanimous verdict of guilty on all charges.

The Murder

The narrative that the police spun before they were aware of Darnella’s video footage

On Monday 25 May, 2020, 44 year old police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, until George died.

Minneapolis Police released the above statement.

What they didn’t know was that 17 year old Darnella Frazier had recorded 8 minutes and 46 seconds of the incident and released it on social media. Darnella had been taking her 9 year old cousin to Cup Foods store to buy sweets when she saw what the police were doing to George Floyd. if it hadn’t been for Darnella’s foresight and bravery, George would just have been yet another Black man who died in the US after coming into contact with the police. The entire incident would have been brushed under the carpet without the attendant publicity and global protests that followed after the release of the video.

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