White cop Derek Chauvin was convicted on Tuesday of the murder of African American George Floyd, after a trial that ended a resounding case that left a deep imprint on America by clarifying the country’s ethnic divisions.
The twelve jurors – seven women and five men – of various ethnicities, who have been hearing in a Minneapolis court since Monday, have declared Derek Chauvin guilty of the three charges he is standing for.
The 45-year-old policeman, handcuffed, was immediately taken into custody. The verdict announcement sparked an explosion in court.
“Guilty! The justice obtained from pain for the family of George Floyd has finally been served.” The response of the family attorney of George Floyd, who passed away on May 25, 2020, to this ruling is a turning point in history.
The death of George Floyd, with Derek Chauvin’s knee compressed for more than nine minutes, shocked public opinion in the United States and beyond the borders of the United States, sparking massive protests against racism and police brutality.
So this tense trial became symbolic, which led President Joe Biden to express his opinion, a few hours before the verdict, by considering that the evidence against Derek Chauvin was “overwhelming”.
Don Wright, a 20-year-old African American, was killed by a white policewoman during a regular traffic stop on the outskirts of this large city in the northern United States.
Minneapolis was already set on fire after the death of George Floyd, and businesses are once again barricaded behind shingles this week.
“We must ensure that peace and stability are respected, but it is also important that the anger of the street, no matter what happens, be transformed in a positive way,” State Governor Tim Falls said Monday evening.
More than 400 people demonstrated in Minneapolis on Monday to demand Derek Chauvin’s conviction.
And in the federal capital, Washington, authorities have also put law enforcement agencies on alert in anticipation of protests that may follow the verdict. Police in New York confirmed that they were prepared to intervene in the event of violence.
The suffering of George Floyd under the knee of Derek Chauvin, photographed by bystanders, shocked the world and sparked protests of historic proportions against racism and police violence.
“This case is exactly what I thought of in the beginning when I watched this video,” prosecutor Steve Schleicher said in the indictment on Monday.
“It was a murder. The accused is guilty of all three charges, and there is no excuse,” he said.
The prosecution, which summoned several police witnesses, stressed that this trial was not the trial of the institution, but rather the trial of the individual “Khan”, whose right-hand man was the policeman.
On the contrary, Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, called on the jury to take into account the context of the arrest, which, he said, is deteriorating with a large suspect resisting four police officers wanting to control it.
The lawyer said that Derek Chauvin acted “reasonably” under the circumstances, saying that “human” police officers “could make mistakes in very stressful situations.”
President Joe Biden invited himself to participate in the discussions on Tuesday, saying the evidence was “overwhelming” against the former police officer.
The day before, he had spoken on the phone with relatives of George Floyd, according to the White House.
“I got to know George’s family (…). He added,“ It is a good family, ”referring to the“ anguish ”of awaiting a jury decision on the latter.
Biden had previously met the Floyd family in June 2020 in Houston, before the funeral of the 40-year-old.
George Floyd’s brother, Philones, confirmed Tuesday morning on NBC that the president “knows what it means to lose a family member and he knows what we’re going through.”
Biden lost his first wife and daughter in a car accident, and was followed by his son Beau, who died of cancer.