Derek Chauvin Found Guilty


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George Murnock

May 25th, 2020 was a day that will forever change our future. A convenience store employee called 911 after he suspected that a man named George Floyd bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Security footage shows Minneapolis police officers violating police protocol and pinning George Floyd on the ground. Police officer Derek Chauvin, a white male, threw Floyd to the ground and kept his knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Video shows George Floyd begging for help to onlookers, and George Floyd eventually became unconscious to Chauvins knee, he was announced dead the same day. 

This event sparked a serious change in America, there were thousands of protests all around the world, mainly in the United States. Black Lives Matter was already an organization that was created in 2013, however it gained the most momentum it ever has after the death of George Floyd. The New York Times stated in an article about Black Lives Matter that, “about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others in recent weeks.” These protest also came with riots, which is why a lot of America seems so divided at the moment when it comes to the protest Black Lives Matter itself. 

June 3rd was also a big day for history because Hennepin County charged Derek Chauvin with second degree murder as well as charging officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander kueng, and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting second degree murder. The murder trial for Derek Chauvin began on March 8th and lasted for around three weeks. The trial was hardly back and forth, the prosecutors had lots of scientific evidence against Derek Chauvin that just seemed impossible to not ignore. Finally on April 20th the jury found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. After the verdict was announced, judge Peter Cahill thanked the jury for their “heavy-duty jury service” for someone with no criminal history, state guidelines reccoment 12.5 years in prison. Perhaps one of the most crucial pieces of testimony came form Minneapolis Police Department Chief who testified against Chauvin and stated, “once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person spread out, handcuffed behind their back — that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy, is not part of our training and is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.”

The trials for the other three officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane will stand in court on August 23rd in Hennepin County. These officers are mainly being charged with not stopping Derek Chauvin in his actions of killing George Floyd. George Floyd was a loving husband and father who obviously didn’t deserve to have his life taken away from him. I hope that his friends, family and the rest of the world are able to keep fighting for police reform and equality.