MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of second-degree and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for up to 40 years. His sentencing hearing will be in eight weeks.
The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial ones came back with its verdict of guilty on all charges after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. The jurors identities were kept secret and will not be released until the judge decides it is safe to do so.
Chauvin's face was obscured by a Covid-19 mask, and little reaction could be seen beyond his eyes darting around the courtroom as the verdict was read. Upon being found guilty, prosecutors asked that Chauvin's bail be revoked, which was granted by the judge. The former officer was escorted from the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back when proceedings concluded.
The verdict was announced in a courthouse ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops, in a city on edge against another round of unrest — not just because of the Chauvin case but because of the deadly police shooting of a young Black man, Daunte Wright, in a Minneapolis suburb April 11.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz released a statement on Facebook after the verdict was read, calling it an “important step forward for justice in Minnesota.” However, he noted, the death of Wright is a reminder that “our work has only begun.”
“A year later, Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder and faces years behind bars,” Walz wrote. “But we know that accountability in the courtroom is only the first step.”
“No verdict can bring George back, and my heart is with his family as they continue to grieve his loss. Minnesota mourns with you, and we promise the pursuit of justice for George does not end today,” he continued.
“True justice for George only comes through real, systemic change to prevent this from happening again,” Walz said. “And the tragic death of Daunte Wright this week serves as a heartbreaking reminder that we still have so much more work to do to get there.”