George Floyd’s death unleashed protests across North America over racism and police brutality. The trial of Derek Chauvin is one of the most watched and controversial court cases.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25, 2020 after Chauvin, a 45-year-old Minneapolis police officer, pinned Floyd’s neck with his knee for nine minutes and 29 seconds during an arrest on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Bystander video showed Floyd told the officer “I can’t breathe” multiple times. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Long before the trial began, the City of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit from Floyd’s family. It is the largest pretrial civil rights settlement ever.
On Monday, President Joe Biden said: “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. Which is – I think it’s overwhelming in my view.” The White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Biden’s comment and addressed to the press that the President did not see that as “weighing in”, but experts think otherwise.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters flew to Minneapolis and urging protesters to “stay in the street” and to even become ” get more confrontational, we’ve got to make sure they know we mean business.” She wanted a “guilty verdict”.
Judge in Chauvin’s trial condemned Maxine Waters’ remarks.
The jury found Chauvin guilty on all charges and he was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo released a statement Tuesday following Derek Chauvin found guilty of killing George Floyd.
“I want to acknowledge and thank the jurors on this case for their immense responsibility and honorable civic duty. The verdict has been read and I respect the process and the decision.
I would like to thank the men and women of the Minneapolis Police Department as well as their families. The past year has been difficult and challenging yet they have continued to show up and serve our community with the respect and dignity they deserve. To our law enforcement partners and the Minnesota National Guard, I want to thank them for their commitment and dedication to serve our City during this time.
We recognize that our community is hurting, and hearts are heavy with many emotions. However, I have hope. The community that I was born and raised in and that we serve is resilient and together, we can find our moment to begin to heal. To the Floyd family, may peace and comfort guide you along the way.
We need calm, safety and peace in our communities, today and in the days to come.
We fully respect and support people’s lawful exercise of their first amendment rights. We ask for people to be peaceful and lawful in their actions. Now is the time to use our humanity to lift each other up and not tear our City down.
We have a commitment and an obligation to serve our community and keep our citizens safe. The Officers of the Minneapolis Police Department will continue to do just that; every day and every night we will strive to do our very best to earn your trust.”