'Catharsis and Relief': How Newspapers Reacted to Derek Chauvin's Guilty Verdict

Derek Chauvin's conviction for the murder of George Floyd has been dominating headlines in newspapers across the country.

The former police officer was on Tuesday convicted by a jury of third-degree murder, second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes while officers pinned him down on the street in Minneapolis last May.

Judge Peter A. Cahill, who read the verdict shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern time, is expected to sentence Chauvin in two months-time.

In the meantime, the verdict has reignited the conversation around police violence and systemic racism in the U.S.

Some newspapers are calling it a moment of "catharsis and relief" while others are questioning whether it will prove a historic change or if it is just the exception to the rule.

Here we take a look at how the major newspapers have reacted to the conviction in their Wednesday morning editions.

Star Tribune

The Wednesday front page of the @startribune. Read the latest on the conviction of Derek Chauvin on all counts in George Floyd's death here: https://t.co/aycg1CzPzi pic.twitter.com/sGU8Psr8ML

— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) April 21, 2021

The Minnesota-based Star Tribune led with the headline: "Convicted" in big letters across the front page.

The newspaper covered the story by reporting how the world—and Minnesota—reacted to the verdict with the quote from prosecutor Keith Ellison: "George Floyd mattered".

Reporters also spoke to Spike Moss, the 74-year-old Minneapolis civil rights activist who watched the verdict come in alongside Floyd's family.

The Tribune reported that he teared up when the verdict was read and said: "We finally won one."

The New York Times

The front page of The New York Times for April 21, 2021. pic.twitter.com/O4Bv8qtGHc

— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 21, 2021

The New York Times splashed with a picture of Chauvin being led out off court in handcuffs.

Subheads spoke of a "rare rebuke of police violence in the U.S." and a "year of protest and reform," but also asked: "What next for racial justice?"

The newspaper also covered the reaction of people in Minneapolis where one woman collapsed to the ground saying "We matter".

The headline read: "With a cry of 'We matter', catharsis and relief".

USA Today

On today's #frontpage:
The verdict is in: Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder.
–Chauvin's conviction means Black lives do, in fact, matter, writes @suzyscribe
–Analysis: This is a glimpse of what justice in policing looks like. pic.twitter.com/0rwRXLTxbI

— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 21, 2021

USA Today led with a picture of two people hugging in the street in Minneapolis.

Subheads covered crowds celebrating, sobbing and embracing across the nation and Chauvin's conviction on all three charges.

NY Post

The New York Postwent with the headline: "Guilty" in a big bold font.

The newspaper also covered how comments made by Democratic representative Maxine Waters, who urged protesters to get "more confrontational," could give the defence grounds for appeal.

The Wall Street Journal

Take an early look at the front page of The Wall Street Journal https://t.co/5xQPDPcm8q pic.twitter.com/2yKbsA6s0y

— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 21, 2021

The Wall Street Journal looked ahead to Chauvin's sentencing.

The newspaper led with the subhead: "Ex-officer faces 40 years on top count in Floyd killing, a case that incited unrest"

The Boston Globe

In today’s paper: Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd’s death, this isn’t justice —George Floyd is still dead, writes @SincerelyJenee, and more. https://t.co/NOlAk6zwca pic.twitter.com/clooqppcJH

— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 21, 2021

The Boston Globe's headline reads "Guilty verdict brings relief" above a photo showing a man, arm-raised in a Minneapolis square renamed after George Floyd.

The newspaper covered the city of Boston's reaction to a "much-awaited" moment.

Meanwhile, commentator Jenee Olsterheld wrote: "This isn't justice - George Floyd is still dead."

Andrew Walker also questioned whether if this was the new America or just an exception to the rule.

derek chauvin verdict
People walk through Times Square as the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial streams by on the news ticker April 20, 2021 in New York City. Getty Images