Jury finds ex-police officer Chauvin guilty of killing George Floyd

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Former police officer, Derek Chauvin, will be sentenced later [AFP]

Last May, Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes, suffocating him to death during a routine arrest alongside three other officers.

A video clip of the encounter going viral following the death of Floyd, an African American, sparked massive protests against police brutality and racism in the United States.

The protests also found favour abroad as thousands worldwide took to the streets in solidarity at a time when the coronavirus disease was ravaging the globe.

A jury on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, according to an announcement by Judge Peter Cahill.

The 45-year-old, who had been out on bail, was immediately handcuffed inside the courtroom and taken into custody.

The judge said sentencing would take place in eight weeks. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Floyd's murder re-energised the age-long campaign against the high-handedness of law enforcement officers against black Americans, a situation that has weighed heavily on the Chauvin trial.

Attorney for Floyd's family, Ben Crump, described Tuesday's verdict as a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement.

"America, let's pause for a moment to proclaim this historical moment not just for the legacy of George Floyd, but for the legacy of America," he said.

The three officers involved in last May's tragic encounter - Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao - will face a separate trial starting August.

All three men, also fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, will face charges for aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of Floyd.

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