BREAKING: Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd
Derek Chauvin has been found guilty for the murder of George Floyd, unanimously, on second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. According to CNN, ‘Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter’. CNN stated that second-degree unintentional murder referred to as a charge that ‘alleges Chauvin caused Floyd’s death “without intent” while committing or attempting to commit felony third-degree assault’.
Meanwhile, third-degree murder is referred to as a charge that ‘alleges Chauvin caused Floyd’s death by “perpetuating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life’. Second-degree manslaughter is a charge that ‘alleges Chauvin caused Floyd’s death by “culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm’. Derek Chauvin was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. According to CNN, each prosecution needed to be proved to ensure that Chauvin’s actions were not objectively reasonable and that they contributed hugely to George Floyd’s death.
According to The New York Times, originally, the murder of George Floyd came about from the arresting of George Floyd, who was a 46 year old man, due to a convenience store employee calling 911. This employee told the police that Mr. George Floyd had bought cigarettes with a $20 bill that was a counterfeit bill. Police officers took actions which violated the Minneapolis Police Department as they took actions, such as leaning on George Floyd’s neck, which left him unable to breathe, despite constantly claiming ‘I can’t breathe’. According to The New York Times, following George Floyd’s death, ‘the Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the episode’. Following on from that, ‘second-degree manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer most clearly in witness videos pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground’… Mr. Chauvin who is white, kept his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes and 15 seconds’. These actions were caught on camera. ‘On June 3, Hennepin County prosecutors added a more serious second-degree murder charge against Mr. Chauvin’.
Following the death of George Floyd, this led to mass protests by Black Lives Matter and the rise in support for Black Lives Matter across the globe. There was also an increase in support against police injustices in the US and it played a part in the US election result with the election of Joe Biden as US president. Defunding of the police became a popular area of support for Black Lives Matter and protesters. Kneeling became a crucial symbol of Black Lives Matter after first being started by NFL player, Colin Kaepernick. In summary, the trial verdict of Derek Chauvin’s actions which clearly contributed to the death of George Floyd was a welcome verdict. However, it can be argued that he needed to be charged on first-degree murder, as well as these additional charges, as a harsher punishment.
However, this could possibly be a landmark moment in the fight against police injustices in the US. Without any doubt, the murder of George Floyd contributed to mass protests by Black Lives Matter and led to uncomfortable conversations being held by people, who were not previously comfortable with talking about issues related to racism. This is a lesson that must be learned, following the murder of George Floyd, that we cannot forget about the issue of racism, we must continue to have uncomfortable conversations about racism and continue the fight to root out racism from society from all areas. History will look back on the inhumane murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin and remember how it led to people being mobilised against racism and the fight against racism being mainstreamed. Let’s hope this verdict leads to a fight against all forms of racism and police injustices. Change needs to happen and this may be the beginning of a new era of change.