For nine minutes and 29 seconds, Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed George Floyd’s neck until he died. Today, nearly a year later, the policeman is convicted of the three crimes he was accused of – the second and third degree murders and involuntary manslaughter. The ruling, which will be announced later by the judge in charge of the case, Peter Cahill, could reach 40 years in prison.
However, the defense is expected to resume before the Minnesota Supreme Court, a process that could last nearly a year. On Monday, during the final prosecution allegations, Cahill himself admitted that Chauvin’s lawyer had “more than enough” conditions to do so.
The judge’s conviction relates to statements by Democratic Congressman Maxine Waters last weekend in Minneapolis, which have been interpreted as incitement to violence if the result ends with acquitting the accused. Consequently, the right to a fair trial would be violated.
Tuesday is the most likely decision. The President of the United States, Joe Biden, admitted Monday that the volume of evidence against the agent was “overwhelming”. As proof of this, the 12 jury members took just over 11 hours to complete the verdict.
The death of African American citizen George Floyd in May 2020 heightened racial tensions in the United States, sparking a series of street protests against police violence. In work to be published in the upcoming Expresso press release, several politicians and local specialists in African American history tell how, despite the positive outcome of the Floyd family, the black community will continue to be a target of intolerance in the United States.
Known judgment within eight weeks
Chauvin was tried on three counts: second degree murder for causing Floyd to “unintentionally” die by committing or attempting to commit aggression; A third degree murder for causing Floyd’s death by “committing a dangerous act to others and showing a corrupt mind, without regard to human life”; Second-degree manslaughter due to the negligence of a guilty person causes the person to create a risky situation for a third party that is not justified by the situation and intentionally performs actions that could cause death or serious bodily harm.
The maximum penalty for second-degree intentional homicide is imprisonment of up to 40 years. The maximum penalty for murder in the third degree is imprisonment for a period not exceeding 25 years. Finally, the maximum penalty for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and / or $ 20,000 (approximately € 16,620).
The jury is made up of 12 people – six white, four black and two of “diverse origins,” according to the classification they themselves provided in the position inquiry sheets. The jury, assembled in Minneapolis, traded for more than 10 hours over two days.
After reading the jury verdicts that found Chauvin guilty of all charges, Judge Peter Cahill announced that the verdict would be known within eight weeks. Until then, the former policeman will be arrested.
Reading context: final claims
The circumstances that led to Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, may seem apparent to anyone who has seen the video in which Floyd relentlessly asks Chauvin to let him breathe, but during these two weeks of trial new facts have emerged – and they all got into the weight of the judges. .
It has become evident, for example, that the movement of placing the knee over someone’s torso or windpipe is not something to be expected in the training of police officers who are not part of a brigade in response to situations of extreme violence and are now also the illnesses that Floyd suffered, which, Chauvin’s defense argued It was the best cause of death that sparked street rage – from Minneapolis to Lisbon.
It was the defense that started the final allegations phase. “The defendant does not have to run to try to prove anything,” said Eric Nelson, a Minneapolis police defense attorney. “It assumes the presumption of innocence and it is the state that has to prove guilt without any reason.” It was the first sentence from the last show, but the idea came back in other ways several times during Nelson’s speech as a way to remind the jury that although he appeared guilty, everyone had to make sure that Floyd died exclusively from that knee. On the neck.
Nelson then showed photos of the camera that Chauvin was wearing in his uniform and asked the jurors to try to put themselves in the scene of the fight. “The defendant arrived at the scene of the problem, seeing that there was active resistance and that there was potential aggression, and at this moment it is appropriate to use techniques at his disposal such as“ controlled fixation ”because the suspect“ was actively fighting ”the police. This was one of the central axes of the defense. The fact that there is so much information besides the video for the jury to consider is because, according to Nelson, it justifies the strength Chauvin used; the other was Floyd’s past, with repeated bouts of drug abuse, high blood pressure and heart disease.
The prosecution speaks right after that, although it previously had 43 minutes of final claims – a response from the state is allowed after the defense presents its reasons. Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell began by stating in the appeal that there was witness No. 46 in this trial: “common sense.” I will start talking about what I would call the forty-sixth witness. Actually, I have heard 45 testimony witnesses, but there is witness number 46. This witness was already in office even before someone entered this court and the only person who will continue to speak to you when they are in circulation This witness, ladies and gentlemen, is common sense. The case against Chauvin is not really complicated. “
In the same vein, Blackwell said the case “is so simple that even a child can understand it because, in fact, there was a child who understood everything,” the attorney said, reminding the jury that one of the witnesses was a nine-year-old girl. Years, while in Floyd’s arrest, he repeatedly shouted “Get away from him.”
Regarding the role that Floyd’s illnesses may have played in his death, Blackwell said the defense attorney’s interpretation of the law was wrong. “What we need to prove is that the defendant’s actions were a substantial cause of death. They don’t have to be the only factor, nor should they be the biggest factor.” Blackwell said. And if the defense claims that Floyd’s heart was “too big” and that he may have been the cause of his death, The prosecution said earlier that Floyd died because Derek Chauvin’s heart was “too young.”