Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a white officer, pinned his knee on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes in a case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The jury deliberated over parts of two days in a city on edge against another outbreak of unrest.
The racially diverse jury — anonymous and sequestered from the outside world — resumed deliberations in the morning as lawmakers and fellow citizens alike delivered their own opinions about the combustible case that triggered protests, scattered violence and a reckoning over racism in the U.S.
“It shouldn’t be really even questioned whether there will be an acquittal or a verdict that doesn’t meet the scale of the crime that was committed,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, said in Brooklyn Center, a suburb just outside Minneapolis. The congresswoman said the Chauvin case looks open-and-shut.
Guilty verdicts could mark a turning point in the fight for racial equality, she said.
“We are holding on to one another for support. Hopefully this verdict will come soon and the community will start the process of healing,” Omar said.View link »
In Washington, the president said that he had spoken to Floyd’s family on Monday and “can only imagine the pressure and anxiety they’re feeling.”
“They’re a good family and they’re calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is,” Biden said. “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.”
The president has repeatedly denounced Floyd’s death but previously stopped short of commenting on the trial itself.
Prosecutors argued that Chauvin squeezed the life out of Floyd last May when the white officer knelt on or near the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes. The defence contended that the now-fired white officer acted reasonably and that a heart condition and illegal drug use led to Floyd’s death.
The jury of six white people and six people who are Black or multiracial spent just a few hours on their task Monday after the day was mostly consumed by closing arguments. They will remain sequestered until verdicts are reached.
Chauvin, 45, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter The most serious charge carries up to 40 years in prison.
Ahead of a verdict, some stores were boarded up in Minneapolis, the courthouse was ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire, and National Guard troops were on patrol. Last spring, Floyd’s death set off protests along with vandalism and arson in Minneapolis.
The city has also been on edge in recent days over the deadly police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, in Brooklyn Center on April 11.View link »
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott joined a group of residents Tuesday to call for transparency and accountability in policing.
The mayor said he has met with Wright’s family several times and vowed to “do all that’s within our power to make sure that we are implementing the kind of changes that would prevent another Daunte.”
“What this community is saying is that his life is going to continue to matter,” Elliott said.
Doris Rendell, who is Black, burst into tears as she was standing in front of a memorial set up at the site of Daunte Wright’s death. She says the Wright case and the Floyd case reminded her of her own negative interactions with police when she was young.
“It’s terrible, it’s terrible to be black, to say that… It is. There’s so much racism out here, it’s pathetic … It’s like there’s no justice in the world for us. It’s like we’re a piece of a bean in a pie just getting picked off, just no one cares.
After the jury got the Chauvin case Monday, Judge Peter Cahill rejected a defence request for a mistrial based in part on comments from California Rep. Maxine Waters, who said “we’ve got to get more confrontational” if Chauvin isn’t convicted of murder.
The judge called her comments “abhorrent” and “disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch” and told Chauvin’s attorney that Waters “may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”
Still, two defence attorneys in Minnesota said they consider a successful appeal over remarks like Waters’ or Biden’s extremely unlikely.
“Anybody who thinks undue publicity is going to get a case reversed in this day and age is just wrong,” said Joe Friedberg, who is unconnected to the case. “Just from a pragmatic standpoint, with social media, I don’t think it can ever be done again.”
Brock Hunter, past president of the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers, said a successful appeal would be unlikely unless there were direct evidence that Waters’ statements affected jurors.
Here is some of the social media reaction:
There will be no wins in this. Justice would mean George Floyd would still be with us.
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) April 20, 2021
Oh, that George Floyd were still alive.
But I’m thankful for accountability.
The work continues.
Justice is a continuum.
And America must bend with the moral arc of the universe, which bends toward justice.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 20, 2021
A reminder that victory would be George Floyd being alive. Every day Black Americans worry if they will be next is another day without justice.
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) April 20, 2021
Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
Today, a jury in Minnesota found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.
The verdict is a step forward.
And while nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America.
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 20, 2021
Please join me and the Vice President as we deliver remarks on the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. https://t.co/gE87hnPyVp
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 20, 2021
A guilty #verdict. But this fight for justice is not over. We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us. But RIGHT NOW please take CARE of yourself. And let’s take care of each other. Prayers and love to the family of #GeorgeFloyd.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) April 20, 2021
Thank God…guilty! Justice has been served!!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 20, 2021
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) April 20, 2021
— Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) April 20, 2021
— Deborah Cox (@Deborah_Cox) April 20, 2021
This verdict does not bring back Mr Floyd. But justice is truth.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) April 20, 2021
Guilty Guilty Guilty… No one wins.. George Floyd is still gone..and finally someone was responsible… Derek Chauvin
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) April 20, 2021
And this isn’t even a celebration. #GeorgeFloyd was still murdered before our eyes. He’s gone. His family will never be made whole.
And how many #DerekChauvin’s are there in the world & on the police force. There’s more than ONE bad apple.
But this enough for this moment. ❤️
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) April 20, 2021
Today is a day we will all remember.
Prayers for George Floyd and his family. https://t.co/YYvvupqUXg
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) April 20, 2021
Guilty on all counts.
But justice will take far more work, and far greater change.
Prayers up to the family.
Gratitude to the activists on the ground who have put everything into moving the needle more and more toward progress.#chauvinverdict
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) April 20, 2021
rest in JUSTICE George Floyd ♥️
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) April 20, 2021
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Thank god. Thank you to the jurors for doing their job and helping to enact some semblance of justice in this case. Praying for George Floyd and his loved ones. #BlackLivesMatter
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) April 20, 2021
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
— dan levy (@danjlevy) April 20, 2021
George Floyd's family and community deserved for his killer to be held accountable.
Today, they got that accountability.
Always and forever, Black lives matter.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 20, 2021
Crying tears of joy and pain for George Floyd’s family today. Guilty. So guilty pic.twitter.com/pKqtc2Hjid
— Hayleau (@hayleau) April 20, 2021
Shedding tears for #GeorgeFloyd’s family, for the witnesses and community traumatized by this killing. For those who protested and still protest demanding change. The heaviness remains. But step-by-step. Step-by-step.
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) April 20, 2021
THANK GOD!! #GeorgeFloyd
— LeAnn Rimes Cibrian (@leannrimes) April 20, 2021
Bail revoked guilty on all counts
– Derek chauvin is just a start
The George Floyd police reform act that law must pass.
The insurrectionist in gop including Donald trump -who are as much of a white supremacist must face justice –
— John Cusack (@johncusack) April 20, 2021
Justice. Sending love to George Floyd’s family and friends.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 20, 2021
Thank you Jesus! I’m in tears. May your legacy live on forever #GeorgeFloyd. 🙏🏽❤️
— Ciara (@ciara) April 20, 2021
THIS IS ACCOUNTABILITY NOT JUSTICE. REMEMBER THAT.
— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) April 20, 2021
— Sharon Stone (@sharonstone) April 20, 2021
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 20, 2021
What a relief. Justice for #GeorgeFloyd
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) April 20, 2021
BYE BITCH pic.twitter.com/n8WjTYLrR1
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) April 20, 2021
Thinking of George Floyd’s daughter today. pic.twitter.com/4a4Sr3PGqs
— Jahkara Smith✨ (@SlaylerJ) April 20, 2021
Praying that this verdict brings justice for George Floyd, sets a tone in this country that Black lives truly matter and helps us move forward/heal! Last year right before the crown, this tragedy struck and right before I pass it on we may get the justice this country needs. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/dxmwkZTvkE
— Jaida Essence Hall (@jaidaehall) April 20, 2021
George Floyd's girlfriend Courtney Ross says she believes Chauvin will be found guilty, and that if that happens Floyd would want us to all come together and love each other. 💔💜
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) April 20, 2021
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) April 20, 2021
NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following joint statement today: pic.twitter.com/r0XQkLssOb
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2021
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 20, 2021
Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan. Associated Press video journalist Angie Wang in Atlanta and Associated Press writers Doug Glass, in Minneapolis, Mohamed Ibrahim in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin, contributed.