Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges for the murder of George Floyd

2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards

I had been following the Derek Chauvin trial when I could. The witnesses’ testimonies were so heartbreaking, and it just drove home the fact that everyone who saw Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd was affected by it. Chauvin murdered George Floyd on a Minneapolis street in broad daylight on May 25, 2020. The video of the murder, taken by a teenage girl, was widely viewed online. Floyd’s murder became the centerpiece for the Black Lives Matter protests worldwide last year. It felt notable that Chauvin’s actions were so nakedly repulsive that even his police force fired him, and eventually the city filed charges against him.

On Tuesday, the verdict came in: guilty on all counts. Guilty of second-degree unintentional murder. Guilty of third-degree murder. Guilty of second-degree manslaughter. Sentencing will be in eight weeks. If the judge orders him to serve his sentence concurrently, he could get 40 years in prison. Here are the videos of the verdict being read by the judge, and Chauvin being taken out of the court in handcuffs.

This is accountability for one life. This does not represent the endgame of the racial justice movement or the movement to drastic reform policing in this country. The fact is that many of us were still really worried that the verdict would go the other way, that a white cop would get away with murdering a Black man on the street, in broad daylight, in front of dozens of witnesses and a camera.

This is not the most important thing, but the verdict and the energy around the trial felt so much different simply because Joe Biden is president now. If the trial had happened during the Trump administration, there would have been frantic KKK tweets and calls for armed violence against the Black community. As it is, Joe Biden spoke as the jury was deliberating (they were sequestered) on Tuesday morning, saying that “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. Which is— I think it’s overwhelming in my view.” President Biden also spoke to members of George Floyd’s family during the trial. George’s brother Philonise Floyd said in an interview, “He was just calling. He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we’re going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us and hoping that everything will come out to be okay.” What a difference it makes to have a man of compassion in the White House.

VP Harris and President Biden spoke yesterday evening, several hours after the verdict came down. I’m so glad Kamala spoke first.

2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Screencaps courtesy of NBC.

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65 Responses to “Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges for the murder of George Floyd”

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  1. Tiffany says:

    I slept well last night knowing this scumbag is off the streets.

    Accountability for George Floyd.

    I call it accountability because justice would be every cop murderer behind bars.

    • Esmom says:

      Agreed. This is one small step. And my relief at the verdict was overwhelmed by my regret that George Floyd should be here, that this never should have happened.

      Hopefully this will lead to more officers thinking twice before using excessive deadly force. And the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has got to be passed.

      • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

        Van Jones on CNN was making the point that this is a start to real change but no one should breathe a sigh of relief as though the work is done by a long shot. Someone brought to their attention the headline that was published immediately after George Floyd’s murder that labeled his death a “medical incident “ and pointed out that it would have ended there had the video not come out. This was such a clear incident of murder, I cam scared that we will see backtracking when the facts are not as horrific.

    • sunny says:

      Yes. Accountability is what it is, not justice. This is a positive result but without transformation it feels incomplete? I wonder if this discourse can move more into the direction of restorative justice.

  2. Sunnydaze says:

    Aside from the fact YES OF COURSE this was murder, did anyone else find the judge seemed a bit…giddy…reading the verdict? I don’t really have any feelings around it other than it seemed a bit strange? I’m wondering if chauvins lawyer prepped him for a guilty verdict from the start because boy oh boy even with the mask on that didn’t look like someone particularly ruffled.
    Lastly, THANK YOU to Darnella Frazier – so young, making the choice to stand in the face of such evil and record it for all the world to see.

    • Sarah says:

      I saw palpable relief, not giddiness. Like everyone else, he was bracing for the worst outcome because he knows how fucked the system is – he’s part of it.

    • North of Boston says:

      I think Chauvin did react … though the video froze a bit for me while one of the verdicts was being read, it seemed that he was pretty stoned faced hearing the first one, but as the second and then third guilty verdicts came in he was blinking a LOT, like it was sinking in that he wasn’t going to skate on ANY of it.

      But in any case, he’s going to have a lot of time to get ruffled about this: 8 weeks waiting on his sentencing, and then for many many years sitting his murderous vile self in prison.

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        Sitting in solitary confinement/protective segregation, no less. DC will have a HUGE target on his back in prison.

      • LaraW” says:

        He f-ckin deserves that target on his back.

      • Dawn says:

        I say put him in Gen Pop…..He does not deserve solitary confinement/protective segregation. George Floyd was suppose to be protected from the horrific death that he suffered….That officer (will not write his name or initials) deserve to feel the fright that George Floyd felt on that day…..

  3. Lily P says:

    The lack of any emotion from DC when receiving the verdict was horrifyingly chilling.

    • Pix says:

      Omg – I just wrote the same comment, even using “chilling” to describe his lack of emotion. I honestly think he was drugged up with benzos – throughout the trial- and actually didn’t feel anything. It’s going to be a tough withdrawal in the clink.

    • Soupie says:

      @LilyP, agreed. Convicted murderers think it’s their way of showing pride and saving face. Nope. Just shows who and what they are. It was so satisfying seeing those handcuffed hands behind his back going out the door.

    • Amelie says:

      He seemed surprised imo. I think he fully expected to walk out of that courthouse a free man and he was just surprised that he was convicted on all three counts but also that the judge remanded him into custody. DC is complete scum. I’m so glad the jury saw through the defenses bullshit and convicted him. I was really worried.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I agree. That was shock and disbelief on Chauvins face yesterday. He was anticipating a not guilty verdict, as we have seen throughout the decades if and when PO’s are charged, they are found not guilty. Chauvin didn’t anticipate a guilty sentence nor was he anticipating to be remanded into custody as well. I was so happy that this smug killer was found guilty on all three counts. It was such an emotional trial that I had trouble watching it as every bystander was strong and convicted in their stance but you could tell that what they saw will haunt them for years. It’s a step towards many necessary steps to follow before a POC can walk freely without fear from PO’s or their neighbors killing them for jogging down the street or sleeping in their homes as they are struck down by an army of illegal actions.

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, I haven’t been watching, only listening, so I am just seeing this footage of him now. He seems remorseless.

    • Sarah says:

      Psychopaths gonna psychopath.

    • Betsy says:

      I didn’t find it anything. It’s not like his face was incredibly expressive when he was murdering Floyd, so I think he’s one of those people who can lock their face down when they want. As Esmom puts it below: a complete monster.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Can’t expect emotion from a sociopath.

  4. Pix says:

    The blank look on Chauvin’s face was chilling. I wonder if he was on many Valium and that caused his to be devoid of any outward emotion.

    • Darla says:

      I think he was heavily tranquilized throughout the trial, but he is also an obvious psychopath so who really knows for sure.

    • Louisa says:

      I said that to my husband as we were watching. I figured he must be on something… there was just no response from him. I mean even if he had been warned it was most likely a guilty verdict with the speed the jury came back, you’d think there would have been SOME kind of reaction.

  5. Jenns says:

    Posting this as a reminder on how the police department originally described the death of George Floyd. If his murder hadn’t been recorded, Chauvin would be on the streets right now.

    https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1384622849562873856

    • North of Boston says:

      That right there is the MOST chilling thing of all.

      I mean, aside from the fact that a cop murdered someone in cold blood… over the course of over NINE MINUTES, in front of witnesses, while he KNEW it was being recorded and even after other public safety personnel were on scene asking him to stop.

      Tell us again about how it’s really just a handful of bad cops?
      And not a culture of violence, racism, abuse of power, and cover ups?

      • Soupie says:

        Yeah, and what blew my mind is that for some reason the first time yesterday I heard on Don Lemon’s show that Chauvin was PICKING PEBBLES out of the vehicle tires while kneeling on Floyd’s neck??!! Talk about hubris. My mouth dropped open. He really did think he was above the law. Already plotting his appeal. Don’t bother, Chauvin. You’re toast.

      • Esmom says:

        Soupie, I had not heard that but it confirms my sense, based on his affect in the video and mugshot and even yesterday, that he is a complete monster.

    • Myra says:

      I wonder how many unreliable police reports have been used to secure convictions, especially against black men and women. There was accountability yesterday, but no doubt the fight continues for a fairer and just policing system in the US.

      • Pusspants says:

        @Myra, this! Absolutely cops lie and they lie to cover for each other. That shit has to stop. Until cops are willing to call out their own for wrongdoing and stop the coverup, reform is going to be tough. There won’t always be videos and witnesses and that scares me.
        ETA, this verdict made me feel similar to how I felt after Cosby was found guilty. It’s the most egregious cases that result in guilty verdicts. So you have to have a boatload of evidence to convict (e.g., 60+ victims, murdering a man on video slowly over 9+ mins with several witnesses).

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Jenn’s, this article is chilling to read. Already twisting the actual facts in the killing of George Floyd. Have to make sure that they put their stamp of lies out early and repeatedly.

  6. C-Shell says:

    I binge watched the trial like it was back to back episodes of L&O, but more riveting somehow. I was so impressed with the quality of the prosecution, their witnesses, the strategy. There were times I cried. The judge did a great job, I thought. I even tried to watch defense counsel throw his spaghetti at the wall, but often that was when I actually got something done, so I’m not living in a mountain of dirty dishes and laundry. I really had confidence in the jury. It was breathtaking that they worked through that, staying at it late, starting early, skipping lunch, asking NOT ONE SINGLE QUESTION to deliver this sweeping, decisive victory for George Floyd’s family. I know it’s just one, and there’s so much more to be done before justice is not a surprise in these cases, but it feels good today.

  7. Alexandria says:

    Thank you Darnella Frazier and anyone who helped to bring this case to proper closure. I hope the black community and its allies get stronger everyday.

    • Tiffany says:

      Darnella Frazier should have been out here being a teenager and doing the teenager things where I yell for her to get off my lawn, not being the star witness to a murder.

      What the future will be like for her saddens me. The memories and trauma was on the world stage.

      This country will never allow kids, especially Black kids, to just be kids. That is a big failure.

  8. Becks1 says:

    The quick verdict had me really worried, so I was shocked when it was guilty on all accounts. but how sad that I was shocked? We had video. eyewitnesses. Something that I think helped was having people from the police community come forward to testify about how his actions were wrong, not part of training, excessive, etc. It took away all his excuses. 9 minutes.

    Like people have said, this is accountability, not justice.

  9. Darla says:

    I was so relieved, when they came back so quickly I thought they had to have a guilty verdict. But it was really good news that they found him guilty on all counts, not just the least severe count, which is what I was concerned about.

    And yeah, not having Trump with his gasoline can all over Twitter, and in the WH is SUCH a huge change. An ongoing relief.

  10. AmyB says:

    I was there when the OJ Simpson verdict came out – out of college just few years, and I remember it vividly, though I did not really invest much time into watching that circus of a trial. I did, however, watch much of this landmark trial.

    Although this is such a heart-wrenching and emotional case, the legal system isn’t emotional, it’s based upon factual evidence you can prove. I think the Prosecution did a stellar job in presenting their case that Chauvin acted way beyond what a “reasonable” police officer would do. Yes, there was moving emotional testimony from many witnesses, but that isn’t what normally wins cases like this – look at the trial of OJ Simpson or Rodney King. The Defense tried to introduce doubt with medical questions of the actual cause of Floyd’s death, or by stating Chauvin was acting in his right as an officer by what he did to Floyd.

    For me the biggest surprise was seeing all the police officers/superiors/trainers turn their back on their “blue wall of silence” and speak out against Chauvin. That rarely happens. What the closing argument in the Prosecution said – BELIEVE your own eyes – was powerful!!! Chauvin was a rogue cop who was a sociopath and killed George Floyd in front of the world !! One simply has to look at the still shot of Chauvin on Floyd’s knee that has been seen around the country – look at his body language, his face, his demeaner. That was all ego, his sole intention, and no one was going to change his mind in that situation. Yes, believe your own eyes!!

    Thank you to the jury, to Darnella Frazier for video taping that murder, to the police who testified against one of their own, to the other witnesses who are now traumatized, and testified to what they saw. Thank you to all who pushed this trial into our collective consciousness so JUSTICE WAS DONE FOR ONCE!!!! 🙏🙏

    RIP George Floyd

    • Kelly says:

      Chauvin was just one of many rogue cops given free reign to enable their bad behavior by the corrupt police unions. The Minneapolis chief of Police, Arradondo and his predecessor, have publicly been in conflict with the Minneapolis Police Union leadership both before and after the George Floyd murder. The current head of that union is a very vocal Trump supporter. His and his cronies in the leadership had temper tantrums when Arradondo and Betsy Wright, his predecessor, made it clear that they would face discipline if they wore their work uniforms to any political rally they were attending of their own choice. They could only wear uniforms if they were asked to be there working to provide security and crowd control.

      I work in the public sector in a formerly unionized environment. We are trying our best to plan to provide the best services possible for a full post pandemic reopening this fall while dealing with the largest budget cut in recent memory. Yeah, there’s some services that aren’t going to be provided because we don’t have the staffing budget for them. Meanwhile, it’s uncertain if the campus police department is going to be subject to the same percentage of budget cuts. If essential services like the libraries, instruction, facilities, and technology have to make cuts, then it’s only fair that a supplementary service like the campus police has to make cuts as well.

  11. Astrid says:

    I was reading in the Washington Post this morning how the young woman was awarded the PEN and it was given to her by Spike Lee. I was sniffing back tears this morning.

  12. FancyHat says:

    I’m from the Twin Cities and I just couldn’t bare to watch the trial. I thought he’d get off for sure. Thank God I was wrong.

    • Betsy says:

      I’m also in the Twin Cities and I didn’t watch much, but I tracked it. I figured there was a decent chance of him getting convicted, even given the history of White cops murdering Black people and getting away with it, but I was afraid anyway. I could have thrown up yesterday waiting for the news.

  13. Midnight@theOasis says:

    Thankfully Chauvin was held accountable. If not for the video, he would have gotten away with murder. Our legal system (it’s not a justice system cause there is no justice) has to be torn down and rebuilt.

  14. Cee says:

    Accountability is important. It means that this kind of action do not get a pass anymore. It means police officers – and law enforcers – need to wake up and realize this: their behavior won’t be tolerated anymore and their actions will have consequences.
    I hope Chauvin is the first of his kind to pay for his brutality and murder. There is a long line of murderers in uniform waiting their turn.

  15. Eleonora says:

    As he should be.

    Thanks for covering this!

  16. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I could almost feel the nation release collected breaths which had been held all afternoon. Heavy sighs of relief. But it wasn’t celebratory, because my attention immediately went to that poor family who has suffered so damn much. So for one dirty ass evil white cop to bite his own bullet it takes a murder, full video coverage of that murder, global viewership of said murder, massive record-breaking protests, a long and arduous litigation process…….. Okay, next?

  17. TheOriginalMia says:

    When I heard there was a verdict, I was worried. Too many slam dunk cases derailed by white jurors. I couldn’t trust these people. I wanted to because I don’t know how anyone listening to all the testimony could have found Chauvin innocent. Blessedly, they didn’t. They saw him for the cruel, indifferent, egomaniac, who consciously decided to kneel on George Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes. Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! I cried several times yesterday afternoon. It’s so exhausting being a black person. So much had to happen to hold Chauvin accountable. Without that video, he would have gotten away with it.

    • Tiffany says:

      There was a case a few years ago where a cop was on trail for shooting a Black man in the back and it was caught on camera.

      The white jurors came back with a not guilty verdict and the reason was, ‘ I just don’t want to see his life ruined’.

      So yeah, I totally understand you lack of faith in juries.

  18. LaraW” says:

    Have complicated feelings about this. Was able to distance myself by looking at things from a strictly intellectual, splitting hairs comparing state laws on definitions of 1st/2d/3d degree, concentrating on the procedural aspect of the law because that’s the way I deal.

    Now my overriding feeling is anger— part of it is because it’s my first response to anything emotional after the intellectual wall breaks down. But another part is because of the Malcolm X quote going around.

    “If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. They haven’t pulled the knife out; they won’t even admit that it’s there.”

    We’ve admitted as a nation that the knife is there. We’ve pulled it out 3 inches. Sometimes when justice is served, it hurts more because it shows that justice is possible and every injustice that follows— and there will continue to be injustices that costs black lives— makes it that much more painful when the knife gets shoved in again.

    This case— the facts were bad, it should have been open/shut. But there was still doubt because he’s white male law enforcement officer.

    So building the wall back up again.

    In other news, some 60 big name law firms have promised to devote significant amounts of pro bono work to bring suit and challenge the voting restriction laws that are being passed right now in so many states. So f-ck you Georgia.

  19. Watson says:

    Glad he was convicted. Has this inspired systemic changes in police departments? We shall see. Still lots of work to be done.

  20. Julia K says:

    Would be a nice gesture if the young lady who took the video was gifted some of the 27 million dollar payout. This would be a great investment in her education and counseling needs.

  21. FancyPants says:

    I have complicated emotions because George Floyd had to die for DC to be found guilty, but there is relief and happiness mixed in for Floyd’s family. Accountability does not equal justice, and now we can only hope that this verdict sticks. I hope this is the start of good changes.

  22. Noki says:

    All the cops or high profile and powerful people that get locked up,who keeps tabs on them? I think they go in initially and then they get released and disappear into the night after a couple of years. I saw a doc about Epstein where during the day they would let him out like a normal citizen.

  23. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    I’m not gonna lie. MerlinsDad and I thought and believed he would walk. There’s no way I figured he would be found guilty of ONE count, let alone 3. It took me a few minutes to process the verdict. Then he was remanded till sentencing and that blew me away even further, which shouldn’t have but there you are.
    I have been on a federal trial for a crooked cop (not a murder trial) and I can tell you seeing a parade of police officers AND the Chief of Police testifying against one of their own is unsettling at the least.
    Wonder what the other 3 former cops involved are thinking and feeling? I hope they’re sweating and their nightmares are keeping them up. I doubt it tho.
    While this is a start (a slow one) I hope this will lead to more accountability towards police (doubtful).
    It doesn’t bring Mr. Floyd back, and this is a small measure of comfort for his family and friends and the community, but I hope they can find a way forward.
    I also think that Prosecutor and his team laid it out in such a way that the defense had no choice but (as so many have rightly said) “to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks” and did a piss poor job at it.
    I also add that I think DC lawyers told him he would walk.

    • Tiffany says:

      “I’m not gonna lie. MerlinsDad and I thought and believed he would walk.”

      If they tried him on Murder One, I totally believe he would have as well. The Minnesota AG getting independent counsel for this case was the best thing to happen.

  24. Jennifer says:

    The verdict was the right one. Sometimes you can read too much into something but boy I don’t think he was expecting that verdict. I actually think he thought he was going to skate. He seems to have dead eyes as well. Just nothing there in all the pics I’ve seen of him.

    I saw on the news today that the MN JD announced that they have opened a civil investigation to determine whether the MPD engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional, unlawful policing. I really hope this start a movement to clean the blue houses. To crumble the blue walls. Do I think that all cops are bad? No. But until that blue wall is shattered and cops are able to report bad cops without fear of repercussion and bad cops are actually held accountable then they are all in the same bucket for me. Chauvin had 18 complaints again him. 18. All were dismissed except 2 that he was disciplined for. I’m very curious to see how the other 3 cops that were present at the murder trials go.

    Its way past time for the rules to change for cops and where I am its also not going to be forgotten that our local police union donated funds for Trumps re-election campaign. Anytime a verdict for money is awarded for LEO wrongdoing it needs to come out of their pension bucket. Not tax payer funds as currently is the practice. Why the taxpayers have to continue to bear the brunt for the cost of police brutality and their systemic racism is something that has never made sense and it needs to come to an end.

  25. K says:

    My heart was pounding before they read it out and then I just cried. I never saw anyone murdered before and on live TV. That is Derek Chauvin’s legacy. He murdered another human being and the world saw it. I pray for his family to find some kind of peace.

  26. Liz version 700 says:

    Thank God! Nothing can bring Floyd true fairness for the loss of his life and the torture he endured. But at least there can be justice.

  27. N0body says:

    Did anyone else notice his lawyers number written on the palm of his hand ? The entire time he was being walked away in cuffs I was thinking who would write a phone number on the PALM of their hand.

    • Holly says:

      He had to write it on his hand (although not his sweaty palm) to be able to make a call to his attorney. He can’t bring anything into jail with him whatsoever. Just goes to show he thought he was going to walk free; or he’d have that number memorized. Scribbled it on his palm last minute because he will want to work on his appeal ASAP. Asshole.

  28. MsIam says:

    Good!

  29. Nev says:

    I heard for the first time last night that he was picking stones out of the tire while killing him.
    I’m still chilled by that.

  30. Rise & Shine says:

    Such a sorrowful and sickening thing that never should have happened. That said, I am thankful that we got a just verdict, and am hopeful this will be a catalyst for change that is direly needed. And I am so proud of Kamala and Joe. I believe they are what we need now.

  31. Bountyhunter says:

    Not smirking anymore, are you? I read panic in his eyes. I hope his stomach feels like it’s full of ice water and razor blades the way anyone who witnessed his murder felt seeing it. Rot in peace.