Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder for killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, a crime that prompted a wave of protests in support of racial justice in the US and across the world.
The jury swiftly and unanimously convicted Chauvin of all the charges he faced – second and third degree murder, and manslaughter – after concluding that the white former Minneapolis police officer killed the 46-year-old Black man through a criminal assault by pinning him to the ground so he could not breathe properly. A lack of oxygen in turn caused brain damage, heart failure and death, in May last year.
Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison, but is likely to receive a shorter sentence according to legal guidelines.
The conviction does not put an end to the highly charged case, which reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement, as three other officers face trial later this year accused of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
The prosecution put a persuasive case to the jury as a string of witnesses – including Chauvin’s former police colleagues, medical experts and bystanders – built a picture of an officer who exceeded his authority and training in pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
The court has previously let everyone know that there would be a one hour gap between the judge, Peter Cahill, receiving word that the jury had reached a verdict and that verdict being read in court.
This is to do with the authorities wanting to allow most workers to leave the court building in downtown Minneapolis and go home, out of security concerns.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, was charged with murder in the second degree, murder in the third degree and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in south Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. He had denied the charges.
Opening arguments in Chauvin’s trial began on March 29 and, three weeks later, the jury retired late afternoon yesterday, to consider its verdict.
It had been very difficult to predict how long they would deliberate for, especially as very few reporters were allowed into court, so observations about the jury and its reaction to testimony, were mainly sourced by reading emails from two allocated pool reporters allowed into court.
But this seems relatively quick considering there were three charges to consider.
Follow the latest updates from Minneapolis by reading the Guardian’s trial live blog: