It took a Hennepin County, Minnesota, jury of 12 less than 24 hours to find Derek Chauvin guilty in the George Floyd case. Judge Peter Cahill called the court to order and, on the record, at 4:04 Minneapolis time, opened the envelope and removed and read the verdict forms. Guilty on all charges. Cahill then polled the jury, where all said they agreed with the verdicts as read.
The jury was given the case Monday (April 19) afternoon, and it concluded deliberations at 8 p.m. last night. Tuesday’s hearing took less than ten minutes and ended with the judge revoking Chauvin’s bail and remanding him to custody pending sentencing. The maximum sentence, which Chauvin is unlikely to receive, is 40 years.
White House Weighs In
President Joe Biden spoke to reporters at the White House before the decision came down. He said he hoped jurors would reach the “right verdict,” a conviction, and announced he had spoken with Floyd’s family. Biden said, “They’ve called for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is.” The president hastened to add that he would not have made the call or spoken out, except that he waited until the jury had been sequestered.
Both Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis have contingents of National Guard troops on deployment to help prevent mass looting and rioting in the face of the verdict. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for people “to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active.” She said the verdict needed to be “guilty, guilty, guilty,” and “we’ve got to get more confrontational.” Judge Cahill mentioned the possibility of any conviction being overturned by an appellate court due to Waters’ comments. Republicans in Congress introduced a resolution to censure Waters, which failed Tuesday afternoon on a party-line vote, 216 to 210.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.