Wednesday, April 21, 2021 7:49 am
The world waited with baited breath for the period the hearings lasted. But when the verdict came on Tuesday, it calmed frayed nerves. That is, the conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer, Derek Chauvin, on all counts in the death of George Floyd. His killing sparked off wide and wild protests in the US and condemnations in the world.
After about a day of deliberations, the jury, according to a report by CBS news, found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Judge Peter Cahill, as the report has it, read the verdict at the heavily secured Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, where the trial began last month. A cheer could be heard from the crowd of peaceful protesters that had gathered outside.
Chauvin, according to the report, showed little reaction after the verdict was announced. Judge Cahill announced his bail had been revoked and Chauvin was led away in handcuffs.
Cahill said sentencing will take place in about eight weeks.
CBS reported further:
“The jury — made up of six White people, four Black people and two multiracial people — heard 13 days of sometimes emotional testimony. The jury was sequestered during deliberations, but was not sequestered during the earlier portion of the trial.
In his closing argument, prosecutor Steve Schleicher urged jurors to focus on the video showing Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
“Believe your eyes,” Schleicher said. “Unreasonable force, pinning him to the ground — that’s what killed him. This was a homicide.”
Schleicher said Chauvin showed “indifference” to Floyd’s pleas for help and continued restraining the man even after he was unresponsive, ignoring the bystanders who were urging him to ease up.
“This case is exactly what you thought when you first saw it — when you first saw the video,” he said. “It’s exactly that. It’s exactly what you saw with your eyes. It’s exactly what you knew. It’s exactly what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart. This wasn’t policing, this was murder.”
In his closing argument, as CBS reported, defense attorney Eric Nelson said the state has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt and has not been able to definitely show how Floyd died.
“He said that while the state called a series of experts to testify positional asphyxia was the cause of Floyd’s death, it “flies in the face of reason and common sense” to suggest that Floyd’s drug use and heart disease did not play a role, Nelson said.
Continue reading in CBS
The conviction will surely send warning signals to other racist cops in the US police departments in all the states. That is, it is no longer business as usual for a country that has gone through slavery, racial discrimination and killings of balcks by Ku Klus Klan.
Some of the murders were, in the past, swept under the carpet.
Indeed, there is a new order, a new sheriff in town!