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George Floyd: Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty of murder

NEWSMAN – A jury has found a former Minneapolis police officer guilty of murder over the death of African-American George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last year.

The death of Mr. Floyd spurred the largest civil rights protests in decades. The widely watched footage of the incidence which showed the police officer kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest last May sparked worldwide protests against racism and excessive use of force by police.

Derek Chauvin, 45, was found guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. He will remain in custody until he is sentenced and could spend decades in jail.

The 12-member jury took less than a day to reach their verdict, which followed a highly-charged, three-week trial that left Minneapolis on edge.

After both sides presented closing arguments on Monday, the jury was isolated in a hotel with no outside contact so they could deliberate on a verdict, a process known as sequestration.

Jurors had to agree unanimously and were told they could not return home until they had made their decision.

The verdict prompted celebratory scenes outside the court, where several hundred people cheered as it was announced.

The Floyd family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, said it marked a “turning point in history” for the US.

When George Floyd was killed by the police in Minneapolis last May, the case drew comparisons to the death of Eric Garner six years earlier in New York.

The two men uttered the same dying words to the police officers forcefully restraining them: “I can’t breathe.”

-US Predident, Joe Biden reacts to the verdict-

President Joe Biden in a call to the Floyd family right after the verdict was heard saying “at least now there is some justice”.

“We are going to get a lot more done. This is going to be a first shot at dealing with genuine systemic racism,” Biden said.

The President on his verified Twitter page also described the verdict on Chauvin as a giant March towards justice in America.

Today, a jury in Minnesota found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. The verdict is a step forward and while nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America.

Biden Stated.

-What happened to George Floyd?-

Floyed, 46 reportedly bought a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store in South Minneapolis on the evening of 25 May, 2020. A shop assistant believed he had used a counterfeit $20 bill and called the police after Mr Floyd refused to give the cigarettes back.

Later, police arrived and ordered Mr Floyd out of his parked car and handcuffed him. A struggle ensued when officers tried to put a screaming Mr Floyd in their squad car.

They wrestled him to the ground and pinned him under their weight. Chauvin pressed his knee into the back of Mr Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, as the suspect and several bystanders pleaded for his life.

Subsequently, asFloyd was being restrained, he kept saying “I can’t breath”, pleading for his mother and begging “please, please, please”.

However, when the ambulance arrived, Mr Floyd was motionless. He was pronounced dead about an hour later.

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