Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On All Three Counts in Death of George Floyd

A jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

The decision was reached on Tuesday, just 24 hours after after both sides presented their closing arguments. The jury deliberated for roughly 10 hours over the course of two days.

Judge Peter Cahill revoked bail for Chauvin and he was ordered back to jail. Sentencing will be scheduled at a time in eight weeks.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. His death sparked protests worldwide and calls for change in the nation's criminal justice system.

Graphic videos of the arrest shot by witnesses showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd, who was already handcuffed, could be heard saying "I can't breathe" and calling out for his deceased mother before going motionless. The video was played for the jury by prosecutors on the first day of the trial.

Transcripts released of body camera footage reveal an extended account of the moments leading up to Floyd's death. They show Floyd told officers he couldn't breathe nearly 30 times. He also repeatedly said that he has claustrophobia and anxiety and was not carrying a weapon.

The Hennepin County medical examiner's office ruled last summer that Floyd's death was a homicide—a classification the examiner stood by during his testimony in the trial. The office also noted other "significant conditions," including fentanyl intoxication, recent methamphetamine use, and underlying heart disease.

The defense argued that Floyd's drug use contributed to his death and that Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the force, was doing what he was trained to do. Chauvin did not take the stand, instead invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, said in his closing argument on Monday that Chauvin followed his training and didn't intentionally use unlawful force on Floyd. Nelson said the case was "tragic" but was just an example of "officers doing their job in a highly stressful situation."

Nelson added that testimony from prosecution medical experts on Floyd's cause of death that excluded such factors as drug use and heart disease "flies in the face of reason and common sense."

A string of medical experts testified for the prosecution, saying the police restraint restricted oxygen to Floyd's body and caused his heart to stop. Several policing experts also testified that Chauvin's use of force was excessive and unnecessary. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said that Chauvin's actions were not part of the department's training, ethics or values.

Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother, took the witness stand to testify in the proceedings. He said George was a leader of their household, a "mama's boy" and a "person that everybody loved around the community."

Prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher wrapped up the state's closing argument by telling the jury that Chauvin's actions were a "shocking abuse of police power."

"And you can believe your own eyes," Schleicher said. "This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes."

Chauvin was the first of four officers to face a jury. The other three responding officers involved in Floyd's fatal arrest—Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng—have been charged with aiding and abetting murder. They will be jointly tried in August. All four officers were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department the day after Floyd's death.

Update: This story has been updated with information about Chauvin's bail and sentencing.

Derek Chauvin trial George Floyd mural
On March 10, a man walks past a mural near a makeshift memorial to George Floyd before the third day of jury selection begins in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing Floyd last May. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images