The Verdict: George Floyd’s Court Case and a Search for Justice

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( ENSPIRE News ) The Guilty Verdict in George Floyd’s Case is the First Step for Justice 

ENSPIRE Contributor: Marianna Poletti Reyes

330 days is the time it took between the day former police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to the day a jury found him guilty of murder and manslaughter. Within those 330 days, there were misleading descriptions of the events, but the video of Darnella Frazier drove to the authentic story behind what took place within the seven minutes and 46 seconds it took for Chauvin to murder Floyd when kneeling on his neck. Millions of people watched the video, and it ignited protests for justice throughout the nation.

The life of a 46-year-old man, father, brother, and human being ended over a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd’s murder called for racial justice that took over the lives of many Americans in the United States. 

On April 20, the court announced the final verdict on the sentencing of Chauvin. People fought hard for Floyd’s justice. Now, the former police officer will serve up to 40 years for second-degree unintentional murder, 25 years for third-degree murder, and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.

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Here is a recap on the George Floyd trial:

Chauvin’s trial began with the mis-told narratives told by police officials. However, Frazier’s video on what happened told the true story behind the actions of the officers. Expert witnesses such as medical professionals also argued that the restraint was unreasonable and lack of oxygen caused that Floyd’s death. 

Eric Nelson, defense attorney, however, stated that Floyd’s heart condition and potential drugs in the system played a role in his death. Frazier, reflecting on that day, shares that all she saw was “a man terrified, scared, begging for his life. It seemed like he knew … it was over for him.”

Chauvin faced charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. These charges were over kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. They decided his guilty verdict for all three charges on April 20, 2021. 

The sentencing for second-degree unintentional murder is imprisonment of 40 years or fewer. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment for 25 years and the maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or $20,000.

Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, Thomas Kiernan Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng were the three other officers who were on-site with Chauvin and await their trials in August.

“The fight for justice is far from over.. this trial was only the beginning” 

Going Forward…

Floyd’s family and close friends thanked everyone who helped bring justice. Chauvin’s conviction is the first step towards justice for Black individuals. Especially since the murders seem to be a never-ending cycle. The lives of innocent human beings are at risk daily. Whether they are on a walk, at a store, or out with friends, the uncertainty of when those who are supposed to “serve and protect” will take their life is an experience no one should experience.

The fight is not over. Lives are taken daily and are targeted according to a person’s race and/or ethnicity. Floyd and his story will forever be a part of American History.