• Tigger Lunney

Chauvin GUILTY On All Charges

After approximately 10 hours of deliberation, the jury in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020 returned a verdict of guilty for all three charges: 2nd degree murder, 3rd degree murder, and 2nd degree manslaughter.

As Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict from the jury, Chauvin appeared as stoic and slightly confused as he did on the day he murdered George Floyd. After the jury was dismissed, Chauvin stood with his hands behind his back as Judge Cahill ordered him into custody and Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies cuffed him. He was then escorted out of the courtroom.

Official sentencing of Chauvin for Floyd’s murder may take up to eight weeks. Sentences are expected to run concurrently, which means that the longest sentence, for 2nd degree murder, will be the sentence he serves. Per Minnesota sentencing guidelines, Chauvin will most likely serve between 10 and 15 years, although Cahill is hearing arguments from the prosecution for a longer sentence.

After the verdict was announced, separate press conferences were held by Attorney General Keith Ellison and the prosecution team, and George Floyd’s family, with attorney Ben Crump, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Reverend Jesse Jackson. In both press conferences, calls for improved accountability in policing were made.

Shouts of joy as the verdict was announced could be heard outside the Hennepin County Government Center, at George Floyd Square, and across the Twin Cities, including outside this writer’s window in Saint Paul.

What is in store for the future is at best unwritten, as there’s no reason to believe that this verdict is anything but a starting point for proper justice in America. But for now, people across the Twin Cities and America rejoice.

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