crimes

Derek Chauvin is first white cop found guilty of murdering civilian in Minnesota

Derek Chauvin (©Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)
Derek Chauvin (©Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Derek Michael Chauvin, 45, of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, 46. The verdict was announced on the afternoon of April 20, 2021.

The jury in Chauvin’s trial reached the verdict after less than 12 hours of deliberating and the members were unanimous. This made him the first ever white police officer guilty of murdering a civilian in Minnesota.

Before Chauvin, there was only one police officer in Minnesota known to be convicted of murder. He is Mohamed Noor, 35, who is of Somali descent.

On July 15, 2017, Noor fatally shot Justin Damond in Fulton, Minneapolis. He was charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder on March 20, 2018, acquitted of intentional second-degree murder but convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter in April 2019 and sentenced to 12 years and 6 months in prison in June 2019.

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The panel had 12 jurors and two alternates. Out of the 12 jurors, six are white, four are African-American and two are multiracial while the two alternates are white.

On March 29, 2021, the trial opened in the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell, 59, showed the jurors the footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.

Representing Chauvin, Eric Nelson, 46, argued that Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career as a Minneapolis Police Department officer. The latter worked in the department from January 8, 2001 to the day Floyd died.

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