BREAKING: Chauvin Found Guilty On All Counts

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Photo by Cirien Saadeh

By: Cirien Saadeh, Staff Reporter and Executive Director

4:15pm – Former Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts following a three-week trial and ten hours of jury deliberation. Chauvin was charged in the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd who died May 25, 2020 after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes.

Chauvin was charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. Second degree murder carries a maximum sentence of forty years, third degree murder carries a maximum sentence of twenty five years, and second degree manslaughter carries a maximum of ten years.

Community members across the Twin Cities are gathering to rally.

This story will be updated with reactions and responses throughout the day.

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Update – Statement from Representative Athena Hollins (DFL, 66B)

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Update – Statement from the Minnesota Legislature POCI Caucus

“This is not a joyful moment. As we watched the trial and relived the desperate final moments of a man’s life and the cruelty of one who is supposed to protect, we were reminded that we do not live in a just society. The finding of guilt in the actions of an officer not only condemns the actions of that man, but our society and public safety system as a whole. While the verdict is guilty, we demand that Derek Chauvin receive the maximum sentence for his crime. 

“Justice cannot stop at punishment, it must continue in everything we do to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. We have the opportunity to create a just society, this verdict has planted the seed of justice in tenuous soil polluted by years of oppression and injustice. It is now up to us, our white colleagues, and all Minnesotans who value human life to nurture this seed so that it may grow into true justice. 

“Amongst the chaos of this past year, there are two truths that will stick with us for the rest of our lives and for generations to come. The first; George Floyd should still be alive. The second; George Floyd has changed the world. How exactly the world has been changed remains in our hands. The POCI Caucus will work to create a world where Black Lives Matter, where every life is sacred, where every person feels safe and secure, and where Black, Brown, and Indigenous children can live joyfully free from the oppression of our unjust society.

“Lastly, we extend our deepest sympathies to George Floyd’s friends and family. You lost a loved one in a horrific way and your pain was displayed to the world. No one should have to go through what you did. Your courage and perseverance is an inspiration, and we will hold you in our hearts always.”

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Update – Statement from Saint Paul City Councilmember Mitra Jalali

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Update – Statement from President Obama and Michelle Obama

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Update – Statement from George Floyd’s family attorney Ben Crump

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Update – Statement from Education Minnesota President Denise Specht

“Justice has been served in the murder of George Floyd, but the struggle continues for a new way to deliver public safety for our communities of color. Everyone in Minnesota should feel safe on their streets, in their homes and in their schools. No one should need to feel afraid of those who have sworn to protect and serve. Our union stands with Minnesota’s communities of color as they peacefully demand the police reforms and public investments that will make our towns and neighborhoods healthier, safer and more prosperous for everyone, no matter what we look like, or where we live.”  

“The children and students of Minnesota will be turning to the adults in their lives tonight to help understand what has happened and how to react. This is the time for adults to be at our best and join together in peace, community and mutual respect, no matter our race, background, profession or where we live. The children of Minnesota are watching and learning.” 

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Update – Statement from Minnesota State Senator Ron Latz (DFL – St. Louis Park and ranking DFL-lead of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee

“This is what we expect from a fair and impartial judicial process. One person has been held accountable for his own actions. We must also remember that a conviction in one case does not address the inequities in our public safety and criminal justice systems. Our work to reform these systems must continue until we achieve real change that will help prevent future injustices. While the arc of history bends toward justice, we must apply the pressure to bend it. Let’s keep pushing.”

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Update – Statement from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx and Queens in NY State)

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Update – Attorney General Keith Ellison hosted a press conference after the verdict was released. Here are a few of his comments.

“Since the investigation and prosecution began of this case last May, everyone involved has pursued one goal: justice. We pursued justice wherever it led.”

“I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. It is accountability, which is the first step toward justice.”

“This has to end. We need true justice. That’s not one case. That is a social transformation that says that nobody’s beneath the law and nobody’s above it. This verdict reminds us that we must make enduring, systematic, societal change.”

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Update – Community members erupted in jubilation and tears after the verdict’s announcement. Here’s video, released to Twitter, from George Floyd Square.

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Update – Statement from Muslim Advocates

“The whole world saw George Floyd beg for breath, for his mother and finally for mercy before dying as Derek Chauvin’s knee was on his neck. The jury’s guilty verdict is a long-overdue measure of justice for the Floyd family. We thank the Floyd family, all the activists on the ground and Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team who all made this important moment of justice happen. 

Now, all the other officers involved in Floyd’s killing must also be held accountable. And we must hold accountable all the other officers involved in the killings of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Breonna Taylor, Muhammad Muhaymin, Jr. and the many, many other Black people and people of color who have been harmed and killed by the police. Further, we must all take drastic, immediate action to overhaul the law enforcement and justice systems that have allowed this violence to continue for so long.” – Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera

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Update – Statement from BendtheArc Jewish Action

“Regardless of today’s verdict, there can be no justice for George Floyd or the countless other Black and brown people murdered by police,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “Derek Chauvin will still have his life, while the families of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and so many others continue to mourn. There can be no justice as long as this racist system of police violence continues to exist.”

“We call for our Jewish community, especially white Jews, to rise up for Black lives and dismantle the centuries-old structures of white supremacy that take the lives of too many. We rise in solidarity with Black and brown people – including Jews of color – resisting in the Twin Cities, in Brooklyn Center, in our Jewish communities, and across the country.”

“At the same time, Republican-led state legislatures across the country are moving forward legislation that would criminalize Black and brown-led protest, from the recently-passed HB 1 in Florida to bills introduced in Minnesota just this month. We condemn these anti-democratic measures and call on leaders and elected officials to protect the rights of protesters.”

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Update – Statement from Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

“Today’s verdict is an important step forward for justice in Minnesota. The trial is over, but our work has only begun. The world watched on May 25, 2020 as George Floyd died with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Thousands of Minnesotans marched in the streets last summer in the wake of his death—inspiring a movement around the globe. While many of these people never met George, they valued his humanity. They knew what happened was wrong. They called for change, and they demanded justice. A year later, Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder and faces years behind bars. But we know that accountability in the courtroom is only the first step. No verdict can bring George back, and my heart is with his family as they continue to grieve his loss. Minnesota mourns with you, and we promise the pursuit of justice for George does not end today. True justice for George only comes through real, systemic change to prevent this from happening again. And the tragic death of Daunte Wright this week serves as a heartbreaking reminder that we still have so much more work to do to get there. Too many Black people have lost—and continue to lose—their lives at the hands of law enforcement in our state. Let us continue on this march towards justice.” – Governor Tim Walz

“Justice for George Floyd means building a community and a state where everyone is safe. While nothing will bring George back, this verdict is a step toward the vision of justice that sent thousands of people into the streets, demanding change. In his last moments, George cried out to his mother. His life and his humanity mattered. Our work is not done until every mother’s child is safe, valued, and protected. We must be bold in our thinking, steadfast in our commitment to one another, and courageous enough to reimagine what true public safety means. And we must never forget George Floyd’s daughter, who will grow up without a father. The grief and pain of so many Minnesotans doesn’t go away with one verdict, even a verdict towards justice. And the legacy of this moment and this movement does not end today.” – Lt Governor Peggy Flanagan

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4:15pm – Former Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts following a three-week trial and ten hours of jury deliberation. Chauvin was charged in the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd who died May 25, 2020 after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes.

This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.

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