The jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of murdering George Floyd, has returned a guilty verdict on all three charges against him.
The jurors convicted Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree “depraved mind” murder, and second-degree manslaughter charges.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Jury deliberations began on Monday after three weeks of testimony.
In closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Chauvin used excessive force when he knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds and ignored the concerns of bystanders because of his ego.
“He was not going to let these bystanders tell him what to do. He was going to do what he wanted, how he wanted, for as long as he wanted. And there was nothing, nothing they can do about it because he had the authority. He had the power, and the other officers, the bystanders were powerless,” prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher said.
Additionally, he urged jurors to use “common sense” and “Believe your eyes. What you saw,” in bystander video of the encounter.
Meanwhile, defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that Chauvin acted like a “reasonable” officer would and argued that Floyd’s drug use and underlying health conditions played a role in his death.
Jurors had to consider each charge separately and decide that Chauvin’s actions played a “substantial” in Floyd’s death.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Joe Biden told reporters, “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict, which I think it’s overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered.”
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