Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree homicide because of the jury’s role in Tuesday’s murder of George Floyd last May at a local convenience store.
Floyd’s death and the video in which Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes became the catalyst for the racial and social justice movement in the sports world last summer.
The jury of six white, four black, and two racial jurors studied for nine hours in two days — five hours on Monday; four o’clock on Tuesday – before making a verdict. ABCNews.com fully covers the decision.
Chauvin is sentenced to a maximum of 40 years for second-degree unintentional murder, 25 years for third-degree murder, and 10 years for second-degree homicide. Chauvin’s bail was immediately revoked and he will be sentenced in eight weeks.
“George Floyd was murdered a year ago and caused unimaginable pain and trauma to his family, the Minneapolis community and the entire nation’s community,” the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx said in a joint statement Tuesday. “Our deepest thoughts have been about the Floyd family since this unjust tragedy. Throughout our history, racial and social inequalities have been rooted in our society.
“We hope that today’s decision will serve as a step forward, but will not alleviate the physical and emotional pain that continues in an environment where systemic racism exists.”
– Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) April 20, 2021
Floyd’s death led to nationwide protests and prompted athletes across the sports world to talk about social and racial injustice. Stephen Jackson, a former NBA player, traveled to Minnesota the week of Floyd’s death and said in his emotional speech, “I’m hurt, I’m angry, but I’m not scared” alongside NBA players Karl-Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie. Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics team led the Atlanta demonstration for 15 hours.
NBA and WNBA players spoke out often, and both leagues continued their season with “Black Lives Matter” painted on the field. “With peaceful protest, we must demand strong leadership at all levels that is equally committed to achieving true social justice,” Floyd said in a statement from the National Basketball Association in the week of his death.
When the news of Floyd’s death spread, LeBron James sent a Twitter message with a photo of Floyd next to Colin Kaepernick’s picture and wrote, “Do you understand NOW !! ?? !! ??” Magic Johnson tweeted, “How many times do we have to see black men killed on national television?” Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr tweeted, “This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with us ????”
The NBA and the National Basketball Association issued a joint statement On Tuesday, saying “we’re glad the justice was apparently done,” he also added that “there’s a lot to do.” According to the WNBA, the verdict is yes “a step towards justice”.
Last spring, a group of NFL players, including Patrick Mahomes, appeared in a Twitter video that began, “It’s been ten days since George Floyd was brutally murdered. How many times do we have to ask him to listen to his players? To have one of us murdered by the brutality of the police? “And asked,” What if I were George Floyd? “
When the NFL season opened in September, the Minnesota Vikings honored Floyd’s family with a moment of silence at the opening and silenced the team’s signature, Gjallarhorn, in his honor. In the tournament, each team played “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” often referred to as the black anthem, before the season opener, and players wore the names of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black men and women killed by police on the back of their helmets.
“The past year since George Floyd’s death has been extremely painful for the Minnesota community, especially for the state’s black residents.” it was announced in a statement from the Vikings on Tuesday. “While today’s decision does not minimize the anxiety of racism and hatred and does not resolve intolerable issues, we hope that this could mark the beginning of a community recovery.
“Now, as ever, respectful listening, communication and commitment are essential in order to move forward towards a just society. … Our work is just beginning. Our commitment is unwavering.”
– Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) April 20, 2021
– Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) April 20, 2021
Tennis player Naomi Osaka bore the names of black people killed by police in her masks in seven matches at the US Open. When a reporter asked him what message he wanted to send, he said, “Well, what was the message he got, it’s more of a question. I feel the point is for people to start talking.”
The Major League Baseball Players Association said on Tuesday that it remains committed to “the hard work of healing and promoting civil rights and equal justice under the law.”
Floyd was killed on May 25 after Minneapolis police responded shortly after 8 p.m. to a call about a possible forgery of a polar grocery store. Floyd said he was claustrophobic when officers tried to put him in a squadron’s car, handcuffed and turned face down on the street.
Chauvin pressed Floyd’s neck to his knees as the audience shouted to stop. In the Bystander video, Floyd cries out several times, “I can’t breathe,” before walking limp. He was pronounced dead in the hospital. He was 46 years old.
Police originally issued a statement that Floyd died of a “medical incident.” The Bystander video was posted online the next day, and police say the FBI is investigating the Minneapolis and national protests. Sovin and three other officers were eventually fired after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey initiated criminal proceedings against Sovin.
Chauvin, 45, and a 19-year-old veteran of Minneapolis police were arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and homicide. The charges were later raised for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree homicide.
As protests grew in Minneapolis and across the country, the county medical expert ruled on June 1 that Floyd’s heart stopped when police held him back and squeezed his neck, noting that Floyd had a health problem and using fentanyl and methamphetamine. ” as another significant condition “. “
At the trial, prosecutors argued that Chauvin was responsible for Floyd’s death by keeping his knees around his neck. The defense argued that he died of drugs in his system and pre-existing medical conditions.
Three other officers have also been arrested and will be on trial together this summer.