Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, the explosive case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The jury reached its verdict Tuesday after deliberating about 10 hours over two days. Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a 45-year-old now-fired white officer, pinned his knee on or close to the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd gasped that he couldn’t breathe and onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off.
The murder of Floyd led to protests throughout the nation and world, and led to many within the NFL community to speak out on social justice and racial inequality.
A number of notable NFL players posted identical videos across their various social media accounts last June in which they called on the league to “condemn racism and a systemic oppression of black people … admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting … believe black lives matter.” A day later, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell posted a video in response in which he said the league admitted it was wrong “for not listening to NFL players earlier.”
During the season, the phrases “It Takes All of Us,” and “End Racism” appeared in end zones across the league.
Tuesday’s verdict was met with an outpouring of response from the NFL community.
In a statement released to players and league employees, Goodell said: “Today’s outcome in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis does not undo the loss of life. Mr. George Floyd should be here with us today. Our hearts remain with the Floyd family, and we understand the pain, anger and frustration does not go away even when justice is delivered.
“Importantly, even as we identify reasons for hope, we must continue to help move our society toward a more equal and just tomorrow. We are proud to partner with NFL players and clubs and remain committed to do the important work needed to make positive change in our society.”
The Minnesota Vikings released the following statement:
“The past year following George Floyd’s death has been extremely painful for the Minnesota community, particularly for the State’s Black residents. While today’s decision does not minimize the anguish or solve the intolerable issues of racism and hate, we hope it can mark the beginning of community healing.
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial to respectfully listen, communicate and engage in order for us to move toward an equitable society. We must address the unacceptable continued violence and hate toward People of Color and commit to using our individual and collective voices to end the divisiveness and racial injustice.
“Our work is just beginning. Our commitment is unwavering. As an organization, we will build upon the foundation we have already established in the following critical areas: reducing socioeconomic disparities, implementing educational curriculum on racism and Black history and advocating for law enforcement and criminal justice reform. We will continue to be agents for positive, transformational and sustainable change.”
Wow all guilty on all 3 counts… won’t get back https://t.co/KYR1onkba7 Floyd’s life… how long will chauvin serve/be sentenced?
I breathed deeply and, unexpectedly, the tears flowed. I had no idea how much I carried this emotionally and I’m guessing I’m not alone. No personal cynicism (of which I have a lot) can silence the heart’s longing for justice. Zechariah 7:9 #GeorgeFloydverdict
The Beginning Of Healing!🙏🏾💟 https://t.co/gqpOXaOLGe
Justice for #GeorgeFloyd ✊🏽😢
Justice was served today! Thank you God. My heart is still with George Floyd’s family and friends. We can not let this end here, it is far from over. More work must be done!
Thank you God. Wrong is Wrong!
Love. Peace. Justice. ♥️
Justice was served! George Floyd isn’t coming back but I’m glad the Jury is holding his killer accountable!
This should be the norm! No person or profession should be above the law. It won’t bring George Floyd back but I’m glad justice was finally served.
Our players and our organization have come together over the last year to support equity and justice in our community. In response to today’s verdict in Minneapolis, we share this perspective: pic.twitter.com/cOgdkXqbUz
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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