Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been placed in a separate housing unit for his own safety after a jury found Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd.
The jury reportedly deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before agreeing on a verdict. The 45-year-old was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
He will receive his sentencing in about eight weeks, the judge said.
Chauvin was facing charges after he knelt on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes last year, ultimately leading to his death. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, repeatedly told officers, "I can't breathe.” The arrest was captured on video and went viral, sparking mass protests and riots around the world.
The second-degree murder charge said Chauvin assaulted Floyd with his knee, which unintentionally caused Floyd's death. The third-degree murder charge said he acted with a "depraved mind," and the manslaughter charge said his "culpable negligence" caused Floyd's death.
Inside the courtroom, Philonise Floyd, Floyd's younger brother, clasped his hands over his head in prayer as the verdicts were read. He also closed his eyes, kept his head down and nodded as the verdicts came in. Philonise was seen crying as he hugged all four prosecutors.
"I was just praying they would find him guilty," he said. "As an African American, we usually never get justice."
Outside the courtroom, protestors gathered near the fencing and barricades that have been up since jury selection. Many businesses in the area boarded up in case of rioting after the verdict and more than 3,000 Minnesota National Guard members were activated.
Instead, in response to the guilty verdict, many said they were happy with the result.
"We frame this moment for all of us, not just George Floyd," attorney Ben Crump said. "This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, those who champion justice over injustice, those who champion morals over immorality."
Crump and other supporters are now asking Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would help prevent police misconduct.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Nathan Howard/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.