Recorded on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until he died in police custody, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday on one count of second degree manslaughter, one count of second degree murder, and one count of third degree murder.
On May 25, 2020, Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Derek Chauvin were recorded on video arresting George Floyd for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Despite the fact that Floyd’s hands were cuffed behind his back, Chauvin knelt against the back of his neck for nine minutes as several bystanders begged the officers not to kill Floyd.
Floyd repeatedly told the officers that he could not breathe before he lost consciousness and passed away.
The next day, all four officers were terminated from the Minneapolis Police Department. On May 29, 2020, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
Thou, Lane, and Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting both second degree murder and manslaughter. They are expected to go to trial in August.
In July 2020, the family of George Floyd filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing the four officers of causing Floyd’s wrongful death. In March, the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to the family of George Floyd in order to settle the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, Chauvin was found guilty of second degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison; third degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years; and second degree manslaughter, which carries up to 10 years in prison. Chauvin was not charged with first degree murder because no evidence suggested that Floyd’s death was premeditated.
Chauvin is currently scheduled for sentencing in eight weeks.