Sacked police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter Tuesday in the death of African-American George Floyd in a case that roiled the United States for almost a year, laying bare deep racial divisions.
A racially-diverse jury of seven women and five men in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis took less than two days at the end of a three-week trial to find the white officer guilty in unanimous decisions on all three charges he faced.
Chauvin, 45, could be handed decades behind bars for Floyd’s May 25, 2020 killing, which sparked protests against racial injustice around the world and is being seen as a landmark test of police accountability.
Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump hailed the verdict as a landmark victory for civil rights that could be a springboard to legislation to reform police forces in their dealings with minorities.
“Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement,” Crump tweeted.