NEW YORK, April 21. /TASS/. A jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota, found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts during the trial over George Floyd’s death, Judge Peter Cahill announced during a live TV broadcast from the courtroom on Tuesday.
The verdict in the case will be announced about eight weeks later. The exact date of the sentencing is yet unknown.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The second-degree murder is the most serious among those charges, and is punishable with up to 40 years behind bars.
The former officer was present at the session, and reacted calmly to the announcement.
According to a live broadcast by CNN, a crowd of about 200-300 people gathered outside the Hennepin County District Court building. People also flock to the square, where George Floyd was killed while being detained by police.
The rallies are peaceful at the moment, as people celebrate the verdict they deem fair.
Earlier, Minneapolis authorities had to toughen security measures and deploy National Guard at city streets.
Rallies over Chauvin’s verdict were scheduled in other US cities as well, including New York, Los Angeles and Washington. Portland, which saw violent protests and clashes with police in the past, had to announce a 24-hour state of emergency when the verdict was being pronounced.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had a phone call with George Floyd’s family members after the verdict, according to a video of the call posted on Twitter by Floyd family's attorney Ben Crump.
"Feeling better now. Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice," Biden said. "We’re going to do a lot done," he added, apparently speaking about reforming the US police.
He went on to say that Chauvin’s conviction was the first step in the fight against systemic racism.
George Floyd, an African-American Minneapolis man, was detained by the police in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 and died after Chauvin kneeled on his neck and choked him to death while he was being taken into custody. Chauvin’s former colleagues J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting murder and second-degree manslaughter. On May 26, 2020, all police officers involved in the deadly arrest were fired. Chauvin’s trial began on March 8.
Mass unrest engulfed many US states over the death of Floyd. To counter the riots, local law enforcement was often supported by the US National Guard. 40 cities, including New York and Washington, enacted a curfew.