Chauvin found guilty on all charges including second- degree murder

Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer, has been found guilty for the murder of George Floyd on all three accounts, the most severe being second-degree murder. 

Hopefully, Minneapolis, the U.S., and the world can be relieved that a step towards justice for Floyd and all other victims of police brutality has been achieved. 

Minneapolis security forces had been bracing for another round of protests subsequent to an unfavorable ruling in the trial. 

Derek Chauvin faced charges of second- and third-degree murder and second- degree manslaughter. It was the jury’s responsibility to consider whether the prosecution had “proven the charges beyond a reasonable doubt” meaning whether Chauvin’s actions were substantial to causing Floyd’s death – which didn’t mean other causes could have contributed. 

The jury considered each charge individually; Chauvin had pled not guilty to all charges. 

On the second-degree murder charge: “While the maximum prison sentence for [second-degree murder] under Minnesota law is 40 years, he would probably face at most 12 ½ years if convicted, given state sentencing guidelines,” Bloomberg reported. 

If found guilty of only third-degree murder, there was still a fear – though reportedly “quite unlikely” – that this ruling could be overturned subsequent to the ruling of a Minnesota state Supreme Court case of another fired police officer charged with third- degree murder, the Associated Press reported. 

That the jury would find Chauvin only guilty of second-degree manslaughter would have been “weird,” Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, had told the AP. 

During closing arguments, the prosecution had argued that Chauvin had used “unreasonable force” and that his actions were a substantial cause of Floyd’s death – which it argued was due to oxygen deprivation, or asphyxia. 

The defense meanwhile argued that Chauvin performed as any “reasonable” officer would have done and blamed Floyd’s death on drug abuse and heart disease. 

Prominent figures began to weigh in on the outcome of the trial, some not waiting until deliberations had begun, however. 

Rep. Maxine Waters (D- CA), who last Saturday said people should be “more confrontational” is the verdict wasn’t favorable later said that her words didn’t matter, a sentiment echoed by Judge Cahill who oversaw the trial and exhorted for members of Congress to respect the judiciary, the third branch of government. 

President Biden had waited until the jury was sequestered to call the Floyd family and issue a statement. Earlier today said he was praying that the jury would reach the “right verdict” and said that the evidence was “overwhelming”. 

Whether Floyd suffered from an enlarged heart is not really the question; it’s that Chauvin’s heart may be too small, the prosecution said yesterday. 

Indeed, the prosecution said the jury only had to “believe” what they saw to see that Chauvin’s actions were wrong. 

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