Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer has found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
The jury at the trial adjudged he was guilty on all three counts to wild cheers by hundreds of people awaiting the outcome outside the court.
They are unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter
Bail was revoked and Chauvin was returned to the custody of the county sheriff.
Images of Chauvin leaving the courtroom in handcuffs spread quickly on social media.
Chauvin appeared to speak briefly with his attorney, Eric Nelson, as the officer led him out the room.
As a convicted murderer, Chauvin now faces a maximum of 75 years in prison, when sentenced in eight weeks.
He faces 40 years in prison for the first count of second-degree murder.
He faces a maximum of 25 years for third-degree murder and a 10-year maximum for the third-degree manslaughter count against him.
In transcripts of police body camera footage that shook the world in May 2020, Floyd said: “You’re going to kill me, man”.
Chauvin, who was kneeling on his neck, replied: “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”
The transcripts confirmed that Floyd told officers that he could not breathe more than 20 times.
In a final rebuttal before deliberations began, Jerry Blackwell, another prosecutor, scoffed at the carbon monoxide theory.
“What ‘reasonable police officer,’ when apprehending someone on the ground, subdues them and puts their face in front of a tailpipe of a car, and then thinks that’s a defense?” he asked.
The extensive video footage of Floyd’s death from multiple angles is the heart of the prosecution’s case. Jurors have spent hours rewatching the videos in the courtroom.
“You can believe your eyes,” Blackwell said. “It was what you saw. It was a homicide.”
He said it shows Chauvin using unreasonable, and therefore illegal, force in compressing Floyd’s torso against the road, starving him of oxygen.
He said it was obvious even to the youngest bystander, who testified in the first week. “Even a 9-year-old little girl knows it: get off of him,” Blackwell said.
But Nelson used the same videos to try to prove the opposite point: The fact that Chauvin continued kneeling on Floyd even as he knew he was being filmed was evidence he believed he was reasonably responding to the scene, Nelson said.
“In this case, the totality of the circumstances that were known to a reasonable police officer in the precise moment the force was used demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be,” Nelson said.
The murder made the #BlackLivesMatter campaign spread further globally. In 2020, it was the second-most popular hashtag after #COVID19, according to Twitter.