In a verdict handed down today, Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murdering George Floyd.
Derek Chauvin was convicted of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter, without bail. He could be sentenced up to 75 years in prison.
The conviction came after just a day of deliberation by the jury. Three weeks of testimony preceded the conviction. The prosecutors called 38 witnesses, including the teenager who recorded the viral bystander video.
Last May, Chauvin, who is a white police officer, knelt on George Floyd's neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds as Floyd, who was black, was handcuffed and lying on the ground.
The prosecution argued that Floyd died of asphyxia as a result of Chauvin’s actions, while the defense claimed that Floyd’s illegal use of the drug fentanyl and a pre-existing heart condition were the cause of death. Chauvin's defense attorney told the jury that "the 9 minutes and 29 seconds ignores the previous 16 minutes and 59 seconds" of the interaction.
After the verdict was announced, George Floyd's girlfriend Courteney Ross told reporters that she hadn’t “doubted this would be the outcome reached.”
Ross said, “This is a huge day for the world. We’re finally starting to see. We walked around with eyes wide shut for a long time, so they’re starting to open today, and this is going to be the first in a future of change.”
Ross added, “For me, it means that my friends and people that have also lost loved ones now have a chance to get their cases reopened.”