Monthly Global Point Current Affairs June 2021. A jury last week found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges stemming from the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, last year. Chauvin was not expressive as Judge Peter Cahill announced his conviction on charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The verdicts were read a day after jurors began their deliberations.
Video of Chauvin holding his knee on or near Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last May, while Floyd was prone and handcuffed, spurred months of protests and reanimated the movement opposing police brutality against Black men. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Third-degree murder has a maximum penalty of 25 years. Second-degree manslaughter has a maximum of 10 years. Sentencing guidelines call for sentences short of the maximum. Judge Cahill said that sentencing would take place in eight weeks. After the verdicts were read, Chauvin was handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom. Monthly Global Point Current Affairs June 2021
Ben Crump, attorney for Floyd’s family, said in a statement, “this case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message which, it is hoped, is heard clearly in every city and every state”. President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Floyd’s family that Crump recorded and posted online, pledged to accomplish meaningful police reform and told them that “nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there’s some justice.”
The case has been at the forefront of the anti-racist movement that gained steam during former President Donald Trump’s term in office and ignited around the
country in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. The video of Floyd’s death became a vivid illustration to many of the way Black men are often treated at the hands of law enforcement. Whether Chauvin was found guilty or acquitted was widely seen as a test of America’s system of justice. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who oversaw the prosecution, said at a press conference that “George Floyd mattered. He was loved by his family and his friends.