By Terrance Turner
March 26, 2021 (Updated April 20; updated June 25)
BREAKING NEWS (June 25, 2021): Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.
On April 20, the jury found Derek Michael Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degre manslaughter for the murder of George Floyd. Mr. Chauvin’s bail was revoked; he was taken into custody.
Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes outside a Cup Foods grocery store in Minneapolis. Despite Floyd’s repeated gasps of “I can’t breathe”, Chauvin continued to kneel on his neck until Floyd died. George Floyd, 46, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The brutality of the death was recorded by a young Black girl named Darnella Frazier. The footage of the murder spread like wildfire online and through news reports, sparking weeks of protests. Those protests spread throughout the country (including 60,000 protesters in Houston). They also spread overseas, with protests in Paris, in London, in Berlin.
UPDATE (6:32 PM): Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden delivered remarks on the verdict. The remarks were carried live by ABC News, which broke into KTRK’s “Eyewitness News”. Both leaders emphasized that the work of justice is not done.
“Today, we feel a sigh of relief. Still, it cannot take away the pain,” Harris said April 20. “A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer and, the fact is, we still have work to do. We still must reform the system.”
“Today, a jury in Minnesota found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd last May,” Biden said. “It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the vice president just referred to, the systemic racism that is a stain on our nation’s soul, the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans, profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.”
Biden urged viewers to not give up. He emphasized that this verdict is a sign more work needs to be done. But “this can be a giant step forward,” he said. “This can be a moment of significant change.”