A jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has found the 45-year-old guilty on all three counts of murder and manslaughter charges. The counts were second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter of African-American man Geoge Floyd.
Chauvin now faces up to 75 years in prison but will await his sentencing per the adjournment of the court.
Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden revealed that he had called Floyd’s family to express his support and wish for “the right verdict”.
“I have come to know George’s family not just in passing. I have spent time with them, I have spent time with his little daughter, Gianna…So I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they are feeling…I called them.”
Meanwhile, Minnesota declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the verdict.
Earlier civil suit victory
In another conclusion in another lawsuit related to Floyd’s killing, his family will now be paid $27 million in compensation by the city as was settled on Friday, March 12.
The settlement is different from the criminal proceedings that are ongoing against former officer Derek Chauvin and others charged with the eventual demise of the man they accosted for allegedly trying to use counterfeit money. For eight minutes and forty-six seconds that have since been immortalized by the Black Lives Matter movement, Chauvin pinned a knee to the back of Floyd’s head while Floyd pleaded for his life.
Announcing the settlement in March between Floyd’s family and the city of Minneapolis, family attorney Ben Crump said the settlement “sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end.” The lawyer who also represents the families of Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor, victims of police brutality, said the payment to Floyd’s family is the biggest pre-trial settlement ever in a case of wrongful death.
Floyd’s death, which was mourned across the world and sparked a global campaign against anti-Black racism, has also yielded a few positive outcomes for those involved with the man.
For instance, actress and singer, Barbara Streisand revealed at the end of last year that she had gifted some of her shares in the multibillion entertainment conglomerate Disney to Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. The Grammy award-winning singer was quoted as saying: “I sent Gianna videos where I played a little girl in my first television special singing kid songs and my second special a sequence with lots of baby animals”.
Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving also bought a house for Floyd’s family in January of this year.
Irving, 28, reportedly gave the Floyd family the funds to purchase the home around five or six months before the new year, sources told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, according to ESPN. This gesture added to a string of other philanthropic efforts the NBA champion has earmarked.
Last December too, the global literary and human rights organization PEN gave its Beneson Courage Award to then 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, the young woman who filmed the harrowing last few seconds of the life of Floyd.
PEN America said that Frazier received the award for her “sheer guts” that “changed the course of history in this country”.