MINNEAPOLIS (NEXSTAR) – A jury convicted former Officer Derek Chauvin Tuesday on all charges in the death of George Floyd, the Black man who was pinned to the pavement with a knee on his neck in a case that set off a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The jurors, made up of six white people and six Black or multiracial people, found Chauvin guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Cheers from the crowd assembled outside the courtroom could be heard as the judge spoke.
The most serious charge of second-degree murder carries up to 40 years in prison. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is 25 years, with a maximum of 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.
Video showed Chauvin being taken into custody and led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
The verdict, arrived at after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days, was read late in the afternoon in a city on edge against the possibility of yet another eruption of the unrest that set off a chain reaction of protests last spring.
The courthouse was ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire, and thousands of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers were brought in ahead of the verdict. Some businesses boarded up with plywood.
By the time the verdict was announced video showed a large crowd gathering in front of the courthouse, preparing for the outcome. Some arrived straight from work, one person even set up a large grill on the sidewalk.
A man with a bullhorn spoke to the crowd calling on them to think about what they wanted for their communities regardless of the outcome, and vowing to continue to work for justice in the case of a guilty verdict on all counts. There were also chants of “Say his name,” and, “If George don’t get it, shut it down!”
Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a 45-year-old now-fired white officer, pinned his knee on or close to the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd gasped that he couldn’t breathe and onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off.
The city has been on edge in recent days — not just over the Chauvin case but over the deadly police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, in the nearby Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on April 11.
President Joe Biden said earlier in the day Tuesday he was “praying the verdict is the right verdict” in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. He said he believed the case, which has gone to the jury and put the nation on edge, was “overwhelming.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.