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21 April 2021

WASHINGTON: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter over the death of George Floyd, the judge presiding over the high-profile trial announced Tuesday, reading the jury's verdict.

Right after judge Peter Cahill announced the verdict, which came after the 12-member jury was sequestered Monday afternoon and deliberated for about 10 hours, Chauvin, who listened in the courtroom, was handcuffed and taken into custody by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, reported Xinhua news agency.

The jurors found Chauvin, guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin, however, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Chauvin would face presumptive prison sentences of 12.5 years for the second-degree murder charge, 12.5 years for the third-degree murder charge, and four years for the second-degree manslaughter charge, according to Minnesota sentencing guidelines.

Since Chauvin has no previous criminal record, he would avoid the maximum sentence for each of the three charges, which is 40 years for second-degree murder, 25 years for third-degree murder, and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors, though, said they will seek a harsher sentence.

Cahill said he will announce the sentencing "eight weeks from now."

On May 25, last year Minneapolis police officers arrested the 46-year-old black man after allegedly bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.

Floyd was pinned beneath three police officers and soon became unconscious, showing no signs of life.

Videos from bystanders and security cameras show officers taking a series of actions that violated the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and turned fatal, leaving Floyd unable to breathe, even as he and onlookers called out for help.

Chauvin was the officer seen most clearly in witness videos pinning Floyd to the ground where he kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes and 15 seconds.

Chauvin did not remove his knee even after Floyd lost consciousness and for a full minute and 20 seconds after paramedics arrived at the scene.


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