Janelle Griffith is a national reporter for NBC News focusing on issues of race and policing.
The judge "may depart from the sentencing guidelines" and give the former officer more than the recommended term, a spokesman for the Minnesota attorney general said.
"When the cameras and everybody leave, we're not leaving," one activist said. "We believe in this work and we also believe this is a sprint not a marathon. We need to focus on solutions."
The death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, touched off international protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
"It doesn't make up for all the lives lost to police violence," one south Minneapolis resident said. "But it's a start."
"There's a lot of uncertainty, because so many times we've seen that justice is not truly served," one local leader said.
Derek Chauvin's defense team rested its case after seven witnesses testified over two days.
Derek Chauvin invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify Thursday. He is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Veteran Minneapolis police officers, including Chief Medaria Arradondo, have testified that Derek Chauvin used excessive force and violated department policies.
Philonise Floyd, the second "spark of life" witness to testify, wept at a picture of his brother and their mother.
"My opinion remains unchanged," said Dr. Andrew Baker, who ruled George Floyd's death a homicide. "It's what I put on the death certificate last June."
"I think the officers who are testifying want to model what good cops look like, both for the jury and the public, in contrast to Chauvin," one legal analyst said.
"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped," Medaria Arradondo testified.
Some legal experts said Week One of Derek Chauvin's murder trial was better for the prosecution than it was for the defense.
"When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint," the former supervisor testified Thursday.
The convenience store cashier who said he was handed a fake $20 bill by George Floyd last May said he regrets flagging it and that he watched Floyd’s arrest with "disbelief and guilt."
"You can't paint me out to be angry," one witness told Derek Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson.
Darnella Frazier said that when she rewatches the video, she thinks of Black loved ones who could have been under a police officer's knee.
"My instincts were telling me that something's wrong. Something's not right," Jena Scurry testified Monday. "I don't know what, but something wasn't right."
"You can't ask perpetrators what they think," one expert said. "That's not how we determine whether something is or isn't a hate crime."
One of the dismissed jurors, a Hispanic man in his 20s, said the record $27 million settlement "kind of confirms opinions that I already have."
"Your goal as a lawyer is not to get an impartial jury," said a former chief public defender of Hennepin County. "You're looking for jurors who are favorable to your theory of the case."
George Floyd's family filed a federal lawsuit in July against the city and the four officers accused in his death.
Derek Chauvin is already charged with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill announced the development in court Wednesday afternoon. He said he would address the matter Thursday morning.
A white man who lives in Minneapolis and works as a chemist was the first juror picked in the first trial in George Floyd's death.