A jury has reached a verdict in Derek Chauvin's trial over the death of George Floyd, finding the former Minneapolis police officer guilty on all counts.
Chauvin was charged with two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in Floyd's death. The video of Floyd pleading for help as Chauvin knelt on him was seen around the world last year, igniting a wave of protests over police brutality.
Hundreds chant, cheer the moment and pay respects at Floyd memorial
MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds of people Tuesday evening marched from downtown to George Floyd Square in south Minneapolis, chanting, cheering the moment and paying their respects to Floyd.
“Ever since the George Floyd incident happened, I’ve wanted to come down. But it wasn’t necessarily easy during the pandemic,” said Tiffany Doepke, 32, of East Bloomington, Minnesota. “I wanted to come help commemorate the life, and I’m certainly happy with the verdict. It’s good to see so many people out here, and it definitely gets emotional.”
Jennifer Alford, 46, who lives four blocks from the intersection of 38th and Chicago Avenue, the site where Floyd was killed now known as George Floyd Square, said she felt compelled to come out.
“The verdict was a step in the right direction, and there's still a whole lot more that we need to do,” she said.
Minnesota governor says verdict 'an important step toward justice'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the conviction of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was "an important step toward justice for Minnesota."
But he said that there needs to be systemic reform for areas beyond policing and that support for advancements in areas like well-being, health and homeownership are not universally shared.
"If you do a little digging and you disaggregate and break that data apart, a chilling truth becomes very apparent: Those statistics are true on well-being, if you're white. They're not only not true if you're Black — it's exactly the opposite," he said.
Walz also suggested that the heavy police presence and the National Guard troops deployed for the trial would be demobilized as soon as possible.
"We understand that as quickly as we possibly can to get to a more normal pace on this, that will happen," Walz said.
Biden calls guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin trial ‘a step forward’
President Joe Biden called the guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin "a step forward" but also said the nation still has to reckon with systemic racism in all walks of life, including policing.
Biden said the guilty verdict is "much too rare" and "not enough."
“It was a murder in the full light of day and it ripped the blinders off the whole world to see," he said. “Systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul.”
Biden, in his most direct comments on the case and race in America, noted the police officers who stepped up during the trial to testify for the prosecution in the case "instead of closing ranks."
Before he spoke, Vice President Kamala Harris also reacted to the case.
“America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans and Black men, in particular, have been treated as less than human,” Harris said. “Because of smartphones so many Americans have now seen the racial injustice that Black Americans have known for generations.”
AG Garland says federal civil rights investigation into Floyd's death is ongoing
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday that the federal civil rights investigation into Floyd's death is still ongoing after Chauvin's conviction.
"While the state’s prosecution was successful, I know that nothing can fill the void that the loved ones of George Floyd have felt since his death," Garland said in a statement. "The Justice Department has previously announced a federal civil rights investigation into the death of George Floyd. This investigation is ongoing."
The Justice Department's review was announce in May 2020, under then-Attorney General William Barr. The New York Times reported in February that a federal grand jury had been empaneled and new witnesses called, citing two people with direct knowledge of the investigation.
Minnesota AG on what kind of sentencing he'll push for: 'A just one'
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison would not specify what kind of sentencing he will seek for convicted murderer Derek Chauvin but told reporters he would push for "a just one."
"We believe there are aggravating factors and the sentence should exceed the sentencing guidelines," Ellison said Tuesday when asked whether he would ask the judge for the 12 years in the state's recommended guidelines.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal arrest of George Floyd. The top charge, second-degree murder, carries the highest potential penalty, up to 40 years in prison.
His sentencing is expected to take place in eight weeks.
People flock to support teenager who filmed George Floyd's murder
A rush of people flocked to a nearly year-old GoFundMe to support Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed George Floyd's murder last year.
More than 1,000 people donated to the crowdfunding campaign and offered words of support Tuesday after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. Frazier, who was 17 at the time, tearfully testified during the trial that she regretted not doing more to save Floyd's life.
But Frazier was flooded with praise by many, including Oprah Winfrey, for her decision to stand and bear witness to the fatal arrest outside Cup Foods on May 25.
"Dear Darnella, your quick-thinking and sense of justice on the corner of 38th and Chicago last May have changed our world," one supporter, Susan J. Barker, wrote. "May you find comfort in knowing that you are truly heroic. I am deeply grateful."
Another donor said Fraizer's country "owes you a debt of gratitude — and heaven knows we also owe you peace and healing."
In his remarks after the conviction, President Joe Biden called Frazier "a brave young woman with a smartphone camera" for stopping to record the interaction.
Michael Moore, the filmmaker and activist, echoed a sentiment expressed by many on social media: "You changed the world."
"No film in our time has been more important than yours," Moore tweeted. "Now the rise-up, the fight, moves quickly forward. Thank you, Darnella."
'Wrong is wrong': Houston neighborhood where George Floyd grew up celebrates verdict
HOUSTON — Aziz Rum, 44, sat on his porch Tuesday evening in Cuney Homes, the Houston public housing complex where George Floyd grew up, and waited anxiously to learn the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial.
“Right is right, and wrong is wrong,” said Rum, who knew Floyd when they were teenagers. “At the end of the day, when you do wrong, you should be held accountable. That’s what we were taught growing up in this neighborhood.”
A moment later, the verdict was broadcast over loudspeakers down the street, at an outdoor lunch counter where a crowd of residents had gathered.
“Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” the lunch counter’s owner, Kim Hewitt, shouted into a microphone, her words echoing through the neighborhood.
Rum smiled, then got up from his chair.
“Like I said,” Rum said as he walked to join a crowd of Cuney residents who’d begun to celebrate down the street. “Wrong is wrong. My friend shouldn’t have died that way.”
Vice President Kamala Harris: 'A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice'
Vice President Kamala Harris, in remarks just hours after Derek Chauvin's conviction, called on the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and condemned America's "long history of systemic racism" she said was holding the country back.
"A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice," she said, speaking at the White House just before President Joe Biden.
"Black men are fathers and brothers and sons and uncles and grandfathers and friends and neighbors," she said. "Their lives must be valued in our education system, in our health care system, in our housing system, in our economic system, in our criminal justice system, in our nation."
She added: "Here’s the truth about racial injustice. It's not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all."
The legislation, passed without Republican support in the House, faces a steep uphill climb in the Senate, where Democrats have 50 members and need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, says he had faith in conviction
Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, said he feels relieved that former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder Tuesday but added there is too much injustice from police.
"A lot of days that I prayed, and I hoped, and I was speaking everything into existence, I said: I have faith that he will be convicted," Floyd said.
Floyd referenced Emmett Till, the Black teenager lynched in Mississippi in 1955. Floyd said, "To me he was the first George Floyd."
"But today you have the cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother," Floyd said. "It was a motion picture. The world seen his life being extinguished. And I could do nothing but watch, especially in that courtroom — over and over and over again, as my brother was murdered."
Floyd also referenced the killing of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man killed in Minneapolis suburb Brooklyn Center by a police officer earlier this month. "He should still be here," Floyd said of Wright.
"We have to always understand that we have to march. We will have to do this for life," Floyd said. "We have to protest. Because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle."
Words of John Lewis greet Brooklyn demonstrators: 'We will stand up for what is right'
Words of late civil rights icon John Lewis adorned the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday, as New York City residents hailed verdicts against a former police officer more than 1,200 miles away in Minneapolis.
"We will stand up for what is right, for what is fair and what is just," the Lewis quote reads.
Demonstrators peacefully gathered at the home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets shortly after jurors convicted former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin on all charges stemming from the killing of George Floyd nearly one year ago.
The Barclays Center was a focal point of many protests over the summer, as New Yorkers decried systemic racism and Floyd's murder under Chauvin's knee.
'Guilty!': Chauvin's trial brings relief, hope for future justice
Civil rights organizations, celebrities and many others shared a collective exhale on Tuesday after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.
Americans across the country took to social media as they awaited the verdict in Chauvin's trial and expressed relief following the announcement that the former officer was found guilty on charges of both murder and manslaughter.
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represented Floyd's family, called the verdict "painfully earned justice."
"This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement," Crump tweeted. "Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"
Many, however, were reluctant to call the jury's decision justice. Bernice King, daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., instead remarked that justice is a "continuum."
"Oh, that George Floyd were still alive," King tweeted. "But I’m thankful for accountability. The work continues."
Actress Kerry Washington echoed the sentiment in her own tweet, reminding her followers that the fight is not over.
"We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us," Washington tweeted. "But RIGHT NOW please take CARE of yourself. And let’s take care of each other."
'The right verdict': U.S. lawmakers praise Chauvin conviction in George Floyd's death
Lawmakers in Congress widely praised the jury that rendered guilty verdicts on Tuesday against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin on all three counts in the murder of George Floyd.
Several lawmakers also called for further legislative action to address policing in the U.S.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the only Black Republican in the chamber, said the outcome offers "renewed confidence in the integrity of our justice system."
"George Floyd died because Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck and stopped him from breathing for more than nine minutes. There is no question in my mind that the jury reached the right verdict," he said in a statement, adding that there was more work to be done to "repair tenuous relationship between law enforcement and Black and minority Americans."
George Floyd's girlfriend: 'It's time, it's time that everybody gets held accountable'
George Floyd's former girlfriend declared that Tuesday's guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin is a key step toward holding police accountable.
"I’m just extremely thankful that Floyd's voice is going to bring change now," Courteney Ross told NBC News. "I knew the verdict was going to be guilty. I knew it."
Ross testified early in the trial, painting a picture of Floyd and describing his character.
Ross on Tuesday vowed to attend the trial of the three other officers charged in connection with Floyd's death.
"The truth is here, and now justice is here," Ross said. "It's time, it's time that everybody gets held accountable."
Pelosi comments met with backlash on Twitter
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expanded on her comments following the Derek Chauvin guilty verdicts after she was criticized by many on social media for saying George Floyd sacrificed his life "for justice."
"Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice," Pelosi said during a news conference. "Because of you, and because of millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice."
The phrasing struck a nerve.
In a new tweet, Pelosi said: "George Floyd should be alive today. His family’s calls for justice for his murder were heard around the world. He did not die in vain. We must make sure other families don't suffer the same racism, violence & pain, and we must enact the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act."
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: 'We are a city capable of extraordinary progress'
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said a jury convicting former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder in George Floyd's death marks one "important step in our pursuit of racial justice in Minneapolis" as part of a "much longer journey."
“Generation after generation, year after year, this measure of basic justice has been denied to our Black community," Frey said in a statement.
"That there will be Black Minneapolis residents and Minnesotans left stunned, suspended in disbelief that the jury actually delivered this moment for George Floyd — that reality speaks volumes to the trauma our society has inflicted both quietly and overtly.
“Ours is a deeply imperfect city — one with its work cut out for it — but as a people we have never been so completely committed to doing that work. Minneapolis is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in policy under state law. We’re building up new and inclusive community safety systems and piloting new alternative response programming without tearing down Chief Arradondo’s work. We are a city capable of extraordinary progress."
Minnesota AG Ellison says guilty verdict is accountability, not justice
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison encouraged Americans to continue the pursuit of justice in remarks following the conviction of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
“I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration,” Ellison said. “But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice. And now the cause of justice is in your hands.”
Ellison, who was tasked last year with leading the prosecution of Chauvin, praised bystanders for stopping and bearing witness to Floyd’s fatal arrest. He emphatically applauded them for recognizing Floyd’s humanity and recognizing that the scene in front of them on May 25 was “wrong.”
He called it “the work of our generation” to end the lack of accountability for law enforcement and police violence.
“This has to end with true justice,” Ellison said. “That's not one case. That is a social transformation that says that nobody is beneath the law, and no one is above it. This verdict reminds us that we must make enduring systemic societal change.”
Watch as the Congressional Black Caucus views Chauvin guilty verdict
Biden calls George Floyd's family after verdict
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with the family of George Floyd after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts against him in Floyd's death.
The video of the phone call was tweeted by Floyd family attorney Ben Crump.
Biden, on speakerphone, said he was pleased to see the jury find Chauvin guilty on all counts he faced and pledged that Floyd's memory is going to lead to change.
"You're an incredible family. I wish I was there to put my arms around you," he said. "I'm standing here, I'm sitting and we've been talking and watching every second of this, me and the vice president. Just, we're all so relieved."
"Not just guilty on one but on all three counts," he continued, adding, "I'm anxious to see you guys. I really am. We're going to get a lot more done. We're going to do a lot."
Harris praised the family's "courage," "commitment and strength" and said they were "real leaders at this moment when we needed you."
Harris said the administration will "make something good out of this tragedy."
Obama responds to verdict
"Today, a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing," former President Barack Obama wrote on Twitter.
Crowd outside Minneapolis courthouse erupts in cheers after verdicts read
A crowd of several hundred erupted into cheers and applause outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis as the judge in the Derek Chauvin trial read the guilty verdicts against the former police officer for the death of George Floyd.
The crowd repeated Floyd's name among other cheers. One 31-year-old Minneapolis woman was left stunned.
"Honestly, I really don't have the words for it right now, and I'm trying to take everything in," she told NBC News. "And it feels like we can take the day to celebrate, that we're finally getting a taste of justice."
But she said Floyd's death is not the only controversial killing by police. She and others also want justice for Daunte Wright, a Black man killed by police in Brooklyn Center, near Minneapolis, earlier this month. She also referenced the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago last month.
She said it has been intense in Minneapolis, but "it finally feels like the smoke has cleared just a tiny bit, enough just to take a deep breath."
Biden and Harris watched verdict, called Floyd's brother from Oval Office
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris watched the verdict with staff in the White House's dining room.
Following the announcement of the verdict, the president spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Biden, Harris and Jill Biden also spoke with Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother, from the Oval Office.
Photos: Tearful celebrations in Minneapolis after guilty verdict
Pelosi, Bass: Guilty verdicts 'step in the right direction' but sentencing 'must match crime'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and members of the Congressional Black Caucus called the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin a step in the right direction, but cautioned that they wanted to wait to see how he was sentenced before recognizing that justice had been fully served.
"Thank God, the jury validated what they saw," Pelosi said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
"We have seen a step in the right direction for justice done." But she added, "it's not over."
Rep. Karen Bass, who chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 2019 through January, said, "For a moment we have a little bit of relief" and that "For a moment we can exhale."
"Step one is the verdict. Step two is the sentencing. We have been through this too many times … you can get a verdict but the sentencing must match the crime he was convicted of," Bass added.
Pelosi, meanwhile, said she had called the Floyd family to thank them for their "grace and dignity."
And she offered her gratitude, posthumously, to George Floyd himself, "for sacrificing your life for justice."
"Because of you, and because of millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice. And now we have to make sure justice prevails with sentencing."
Verdict brings 'tears of joy' to family of George Floyd
The conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin brought "tears of joy" to George Floyd's family, the dead man's brother said.
With so few police officers criminally convicted for their actions on the job, George Floyd's younger brother Rodney Floyd called the jury's action on Tuesday historic.
“Tears of joy, so emotional that no family in history ever got this far,” he told MSNBC. “This right here is for everyone that’s been in that situation. Everybody, everybody. We are here standing in unity."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz calls Chauvin conviction an 'important step forward for justice'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called the conviction of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd an "important step forward for justice."
"Today's verdict is an important step forward for justice in Minnesota," Walz said in a statement minutes after the jury found Chauvin guilty on all charges. "The trial is over but our work has only begun."
While Tuesday's guilty verdicts will not ease the pain of Floyd's family, Walz said, "we promise the pursuit of justice for George does not end today."
Chauvin was charged with two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in Floyd's death.
Photo: Chauvin led away in handcuffs
Cheers heard in BLM Plaza near White House as Biden prepares remarks
Cheers could be heard in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House as the verdict was being announced.
The White House is preparing for President Joe Biden to deliver remarks.
One White House official said the verdict was "consistent with the facts" and another said justice has been served.
Judge revokes Derek Chauvin's bail
Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin has been remanded into custody after being convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd on Tuesday.
Judge Peter Cahill revoked Chauvin's bail and ordered he be remanded into custody after announcing the jury's verdict. Chauvin's sentencing will take place in eight weeks, though Cahill did not give an exact date.
Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts, jury decides
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin was charged in the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died May 25 after Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.
Floyd’s death sparked international protests against systemic racism and police violence after bystander video of the encounter was shared online. Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, was fired along with three other officers following Floyd’s death.
After three weeks of video evidence, witness statements and expert testimony, the jury was sent to deliberations Monday evening.
It alerted the court less than a day later that it had reached a decision.
The top charge of second-degree murder carried the highest potential penalty, up to 40 years in prison. The lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and had the lowest burden of proof for the prosecution.
Crowds flock to Minneapolis courthouse ahead of verdict
MINNEAPOLIS - The curious and the concerned flocked to the Hennepin County District Courthouse on Tuesday, to be outside when jurors announce their verdict in former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin's trial.
Some of the 200 bystanders carried "Black Lives Matter" signs in hopes of witnessing some of the history-making events that will unfold.
"I’m optimistic because it happened quickly that he is going to be found guilty on all three charges," said South Minneapolis resident Susan Scalf, 51, who rushed downtown after jurors said they had reached a verdict. "That is what we want. Nothing less."
Amy Powers, 55, a retired firefighter, said this verdict will have an impact well beyond the borders of Minneapolis or Hennepin County.
“This is not just about Minneapolis,” she said. “This is about the whole world. We’re here with hope that things can turn around.”
What do jurors have to consider?
All eyes are on the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday as Americans await the reading of the jury's verdict on whether he bears responsibility for George Floyd's death.
The jury, made up of seven women and five men, was sent into deliberations Monday evening and took roughly 10 hours to inform the court that it had reached a decision on the three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The second-degree murder charge carries the highest potential penalty, up to 40 years in prison. To meet the burden of proof, prosecutors needed to prove that Chauvin caused Floyd's death "while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense," in this case assault.
The lesser charge of third-degree murder carries a penalty of up to 25 years. Minnesota statute requires proof that the defendant committed an "act eminently dangerous to others."
The final charge, second-degree manslaughter, which has the lowest burden of proof, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years. Prosecutors would have to prove that Floyd's death was caused by Chauvin's negligence in creating "an unreasonable risk" and "consciously [taking] chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another."
The jurors will have to decide whether the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and whether they can reach unanimous decisions.
Prosecutors presented extensive video showing officers' interaction with Floyd from a variety of angles and perspectives, including multiple bystander videos and police body camera video and security video. The state's team argued Floyd died because Chauvin knelt on his neck for 9½ minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground.
But Chauvin's defense, led by attorney Eric Nelson, argued that Floyd died because of a drug overdose and underlying health conditions and that Chauvin acted as he was trained to do.
While prosecutors offered the jury emotional testimony from witnesses, some of whom said their lives were forever changed by watching Floyd's arrest, the defense sought to portray the onlookers as a distraction and a potential threat that led the responding officers to worry for their safety and diverted their attention from Floyd.
Derek Chauvin arrives at courthouse
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has arrived at the Minneapolis courthouse with his attorney, Eric Nelson.
Chauvin arrived about 20 minutes before the jury's verdict is expected to be read on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter against him. The jury began deliberation Monday evening and reached a decision in less than a day.
White House waiting on verdict along with rest of country
White House officials are huddling as they prepare to hear the verdict. One official tells NBC News they are watching and waiting for a verdict like the rest of the country.
There will be a response from President Joe Biden, who is currently holding a virtual tour of an electric battery company in South Carolina, once the verdict is read. The details about what that will look like are still being determined.
Biden sparked backlash earlier today when he said: “I am praying the verdict is the right verdict” adding “I think it’s overwhelming in my view.”
Multiple people close to Biden say his comments earlier today that he was praying for “the right verdict” in the Derek Chauvin trial were not helpful to White House efforts to tamp down tensions across the country.
One of the people close to the president said it would’ve been worse if he’d made the comment before the jury was sequestered. Another said regardless of the timing of his remark it risks be interpreted as disrespectful of the judicial system.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked repeatedly about these comments. She refused to clarify, but insisted the president was not trying to prejudge the case.
Minneapolis and a nation anxiously await verdict
MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of National Guard members and hundreds of police officers stood watch over the Twin Cities on Monday evening after jury deliberations began in the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in George Floyd's death.
A heavy and armed military presence could be seen Monday across Minneapolis in anticipation of unrest, especially near downtown government buildings. There were several protests and hundreds of arrests last week in nearby Brooklyn Center after a police officer killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop.
Businesses have been boarded up across Minneapolis as the city awaits a verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The jury resumed deliberations Tuesday morning around 8 a.m. local time and the court said around 2:30 p.m. that they reached a verdict.