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Police Officer Derek Chauvin Convicted of "Murder" of George Floyd

2021-04-20T23:32:37.945Z

The jury had withdrawn Monday to deliberate behind closed doors after hearing the final arguments of the prosecution and the defense in a trial under high tension.



The verdict is in.

Derek Chauvin was convicted of the "murder" of George Floyd.

The verdict was read Tuesday afternoon (local time) at the Minneapolis court.

The jury retired on Monday to deliberate behind closed doors after hearing the final arguments of the prosecution and the defense.

Read also: Death of George Floyd: high-risk trial in a fractured America

The 45-year-old police officer was on trial for murder, manslaughter and intentional violence resulting in the death of George Floyd, whom he had arrested with three other officers for a minor offense on May 25, 2020. Derek Chauvin, who appeared free, incurred 12 and a half years in prison for the most serious charge. The jurors represent the diverse population of the city: seven women and five men, six whites and six people of color; the youngest is in his twenties and the oldest in his sixties.

The outcome of this extraordinary trial greatly worried the authorities, who feared violence if the police officer were to be acquitted. National Guard soldiers have been deployed in the city, the scene of daily demonstrations since the recent death of a young black man on the outskirts of Minneapolis. Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African-American, was killed by a white policewoman during an ordinary traffic stop on the outskirts of this large city in the north of the United States. Minneapolis had already set alight after the death of George Floyd, and businesses were once again barricaded behind wooden planks this week.

"We must ensure that peace and stability are respected, but it is also important that the anger of the street, whatever happens, is transformed in a positive way

,

"

said the governor of the state on Monday evening. , Tim Walz.

More than 400 people marched Monday in Minneapolis to demand the conviction of Derek Chauvin.

In the federal capital Washington, authorities have also put law enforcement on alert in anticipation of protests that could follow the verdict.

In New York, the police assured that they were ready to intervene in the event of violence.

"Overwhelming" evidence for Joe Biden

The agony of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 below Derek Chauvin's knee, filmed by passers-by, shocked the world and sparked protests of historic proportions against racism and police violence. "

This case is exactly what you initially thought when watching this video,"

prosecutor Steve Schleicher said in his indictment on Monday.

"It was murder, the accused is guilty of all three counts and there is no excuse,"

he said. The prosecution, which called several witnesses from the police, stressed that this trial was not that of the institution, but of an individual who

"betrayed"

his police oath.

Derek Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, on the contrary called on the jurors to take into account the context of an arrest which, according to him, degenerates with a suspect of an imposing size who resists four police officers wanting to control him.

Derek Chauvin acted

"reasonably"

given the circumstances, argued the lawyer, saying that police officers were

"human beings"

who

"can make mistakes in very stressful situations."

Read also: Death of George Floyd: Derek Chauvin's lawyer asks for an acquittal

Proof of the importance of this trial, Joe Biden spoke on this subject on Tuesday. The American president considered that the evidence was

"overwhelming"

against the policeman.

“I pray the verdict is correct. In my opinion, it is overwhelming. I wouldn't say that if the jury hadn't stepped down to deliberate, ”

he said. The day before, he had spoken on the phone with relatives of George Floyd, according to the White House.

“I got to know George's family (...). It's a good family

, ”he added, evoking“ the anguish ”of waiting for the jury's decision for the latter. The 12 jurors have also been isolated from the world to debate behind closed doors since the day before.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-04-20

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