A Guilty Verdict
April 21, 2021
On April 20, a 12-person jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota, found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin killed Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. A bystander captured the event on her phone and shared the video on social media. It sparked anti-racism protests around the world.
The jury made its decision after a three-week trial. People who took the stand included medical experts, police officers, and witnesses to Floyd’s death. The verdict could send Chauvin to prison for decades. The judge will determine his sentence in about eight weeks.
Floyd’s younger brother Philonise talked to the press about the verdict. He spoke about the history of violence against Black people in the United States. This time, he said, the violence was captured on camera for the world to see. He spoke again about the verdict the next day: “It makes us happier knowing that [George’s] life, it mattered, and he didn’t die in vain.”
President Joe Biden spoke after the verdict. He said Floyd’s death “ripped the blinders off for the whole world” to see systemic racism. But he added that more laws are needed to fight racism and violence. “We can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen and occur again.”
On August 28, thousands of protesters gathered on the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., for the March on Washington 2020. They were speaking out against racism and the unjust treatment of Black people in American society. For months, marches have…