Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts | Minnesota Public Radio News

Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts

Chauvin found guilty on second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter

  • Sharpton offers a prayer of gratitude for the verdict
     
    Rev. Al Sharpton led a prayer at the downtown Minneapolis Hilton to celebrate the guilty verdicts.
    "Somehow God made the way," Sharpton said, asking those in attendance to link arms. "We believe in a God that can even get through the cracks in the jury room."
    "We broke down in tears when we heard the verdict. We had to hold each other and hug," Sharpton continued, "because too many nights we cried."
     
    — MPR News staff
  • Floyd family's lawyer declares victory for justice
     
    "This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, those who champion justice over injustice, those who champion morals over immorality," said lawyer Ben Crump, who represents George Floyd's family.
     
    Crump last month secured a record-breaking $27 million civil settlement from the city of Minneapolis for Floyd's killing.
     
     
    "We're going to leave here today knowing that America is a better country," he said of the guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
     
    — MPR News staff
  • Floyd's Brother On Verdict: 'I Was Just Praying They Would Find Him Guilty '

    People gather outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday before the jury's decision returning guilty verdicts against former police officer Derek Chauvin Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images.

    George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, was in the courtroom Tuesday afternoon when Judge Peter Cahill read the three guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

    As the first guilty verdict was read aloud, Philonise Floyd's clasped hands began shaking, according to a reporter inside the courtroom. They continued to tremble as Cahill recited the second guilty verdict. By the third time, Floyd's hands were shaking back, and he was nodding his head up and down with his eyes closed, and then he began weeping.

    "I was just praying they would find him guilty," Floyd told reporters after exiting the courtroom.

    "As an African American, we usually never get justice," he said.

    Many of George Floyd's relatives, who traveled to Minneapolis from Texas, took turns sitting in a chair reserved for them in the courtroom over the three weeks of testimony.

    -- Vanessa Roma, NPR

  • City councilor says verdict is 'a step toward justice,' calls for calm
    City Councilor Andrea Jenkins joined the crowd at George Floyd Square this afternoon. Jenkins represents Ward 8, which includes the site where Floyd was killed.
    "The tragic death of Daunte Wright is still top of people's minds, and the trial of the other three officers are coming up," she said. "But conviction all counts against Derek Chauvin, is, first and foremost, I think a victory that gives hope for our community."
    Jenkins said she hoped the crowds would remain peaceful. "I know that people have to express themselves, and we certainly want to support that but please, you know remain, remain calm," she said.
  • 'An important step forward for justice': Reactions to Chauvin's guilty verdicts

    "I was just praying they would find him guilty," George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, told reporters after exiting the courtroom.
  • Governor Walz praises prosecutors, jurors, witnesses, calls for reform
    Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called for systemic change to promote "equity, decency and humanity" this afternoon.
    Speaking in the wake of the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin, Walz praised the work of the prosecutors.
    “It made us believe for today, and we need to hold that thought, that justice is possible,“ he said.
    Walz also thanked the witnesses.
    "Those people were subjected to something no one should have to see," he said. "They saw George Floyd murdered in front of them, but they had the courage to stay to record what they saw, and then bring forward that pain again and again again to them, to make sure that George Floyd received justice."
    Walz said the case drew attention to stark inequities in Minnesota.
    "The death of George Floyd was maybe an awakening for some Minnesotans to this hard truth, a truth that our communities of color have known their entire life," he said.
    "What you saw today could, and needs to be a pivotal moment in race and equity and decency across this country," Walz said. "We're not going to get another chance to do this. This is our moment."
  • Biden praises verdict in Chauvin case
    President Joe Biden today called for Americans to unite in the wake of the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
    Biden called the killing "murder in the full light of day," and said it "ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see" systemic racism.
    He said the verdict "can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America." But, he said, "such a verdict is also much too rare for so many people."
    "As we saw in this trial, from the fellow police officers who testified, most men and women who wear the badge serve their communities honorably," Biden said. "But those few who fail to meet that standard must be held accountable, and they were today. One was."
     
    Biden said the verdict today sends an important message, but isn't enough. "We can't stop here," he said. "We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen to occur again."
    He urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
    Biden said he had spoken with members of George Floyd's family, and he spoke of Floyd's legacy, saying it should be a legacy of peace.
    "There are those who will seek to exploit the raw emotions of the moment, agitators and extremists who have no interest in social justice who seek to carry out violence, destroy property, fan the flames of hate and division and do everything in their power to stop this country's march toward racial justice," Biden said. "We can't let them succeed."
  • Guilty verdict means Twin Cities law enforcement presence will step down
     
    You could almost sense the exhale in the room as the governor spoke. 
     
    He and his Public Safety Commissioner, John Harrington, said that they will be looking for ways to kind of step back the heightened security that we've seen in the Twin Cities over the past several weeks.
     
    The extra law enforcement presence is not going to completely go away right away, but Gov. Tim says that there won't be a need necessarily for a statewide curfew — or even a regional one — as we saw in the past weeks, following the killing of Daunte Wright by a Brooklyn Center police officer.
     
    -- Brian Bakst, MPR News
  • Frey: 'A good day in Minneapolis'
    Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said this afternoon that Minneapolis is changing in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
    "We're piloting new ways of policing," he said. "We're working towards alternative responses to safety beyond policing."
    He praised the verdict today in the case against former police officer Derek Chauvin. "This is a good day in Minneapolis. It's a good day in Minnesota," he said.
    "Justice has been rendered in this case, but we still have a long way to go to achieve true justice in our city and in our country," he said.
  • Chauvin guilty of murder, manslaughter in George Floyd's killing

    A jury on Tuesday convicted ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in Floyd’s killing last May while in police custody. Chauvin was led away in handcuffs. Sentencing will come in about eight weeks.
  • We asked people what their thoughts and feelings are following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. Many expressed relief, but also acknowledged that there is a lot of work to do when it comes to police reform and creating equity for Minnesota's communities of color. Share your thoughts and get updates our latest coverage via text message here. 

    "Roughly 25 stopped by Philando's Peace Garden. Several of us held up our Justice for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter signs and people honked in support. Finally there is a glimmer of hope for change in policing." — Paula Mielke, Falcon Heights

    "A huge sigh of relief but now we have the hard work of systemic change in police reform, education and economic security. We have waited too long." — Danna, Maplewood.

    "Initially I was relieved, but I wasn't joyful like I thought I'd be. Maybe I'm realizing this is only the start of the process towards equity." — Britta, St. Paul

    "George's life was needlessly taken. Today we took one step in the right direction. A small bit of faith was restored in humanity. My thoughts are with George Floyd's family." — Teresa, Little Canada

    "This is definitely a victory, however, we need to restart the whole police system. It is based on racism and incarcerating Black and brown members of society. George Floyd is one of many victims of police brutality, and one of the few whose families received a little bit of closer and justice." — Ela Kanade.

    "Hearing guilty each time was like unclenching my jaw and unfurling my brow after a full year. I know there's so much more work ahead of us but wow is this a relief." — Manu, Eagan.

    "Finally, a justified verdict that starts us on a path of racial justice. I feel like I can breathe again, for my children of color." — Dorothy, St. Paul

    "I am slightly less ashamed of being born, raised and choosing to stay in Minnesota today. It's still embarrassing being from Minnesota. But at least today we have hope that systemic things can get better." — Matt, St. Paul
  • Obamas: Chauvin jury 'Did the right thing' But 'we cannot rest'

    "We know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial," the nation's first Black president and the former first lady said in a statement.
  • Coverage of Chauvin verdict seems as divided as nation's politics

    Broadcast and cable news networks showed different approaches to coverage of Chauvin verdict.
  • A common refrain amid the celebrations following the verdict Tuesday was: "we have work to do." Here's what a few people had to say about what the next steps need to be. Share your thoughts and get updates our latest coverage via text message here.

    "I want to see police as a fundamental piece of cohesiveness and not as 'us against them.' There is a whole lot of trust that needs to be built between police and community. I want to see police as the loving power that is dedicated to keep us safe and not to get in conflict with our daily lives. There is a lot of work that needs to happen in community building, Better selection of police force members, revisiting police force vision and ultimately a sincere reform in how police implement their policies and duties. I am all in favor of good policing and yet, we as a society need to work hard on building so many walls to replace the so many bridges that seem to be so dangerous and vicious. We can not keep falling into this vicious cycle of divisiveness that is tearing us apart every day. God bless Minnesota and God bless America." — Abe, Columbia Heights

    "Defunding the police and having future police go through some serious mental training to see if they are fit for the force. I also think we need SO much more gun control." — Ela, Maple Grove

    "I need to find a way to volunteer to help out with people of color. I am a retired English teacher who loves working with kids. I would like to be more of a presence in aiding teachers with kids needing academic help." — Sandy, Plymouth

    "Police reform needs to happen. Derek Chauvin had previous issues with abusing his authority. He should've been relieved of his badge long before murdering George. Settlements should come out of pensions, rather than tax payers paying for those police officers who take lives. Unions shouldn't shield/prevent cops from being terminated. There also needs to be a national database that they are placed on. A no hire database. These things will help, but it will take many things to fix this system. We also have white supremacists in our law enforcement. That is unacceptable. We will have to ferret them all out, and hire more diverse people." — Teresa, Little Canada

    "I want to see us prioritize a clear plan to ensure all children are ready for Kindergarten and graduate on time. In other words close our educational opportunity and achievement gaps." — Dianne

    "Intensive and immediate efforts to train and embed de-escalation techniques into Metro policing — all agencies. That means de-escalation for individuals and groups at both the personal level and situational level. De-escalation now before a long hot summer." — Dana, Plymouth

    "Believe Black people, believe BIPOC people! Don't discount our testimony or sharing because it feels different from habitual patterns. Know thyself more closely so you see when your mind is doing that, and pause. ALSO, see the threats we see. It is clear Operation Safety Net was not about protecting us from the true mayhem seekers, the most dangerous to life and limb and democracy. Our lives were in danger from the supremacists, keep *that* under control please. Continue as President Biden did tonight, let your BIPOC colleagues and loved ones and neighbors speak their truth, and lend your voice in support for those in the back who won't hear it as well until it comes from a familiar face." — Bee, Minneapolis
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