Former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of all three counts, including unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Last year, viral video showed then-officer Chauvin keeping his knee pinned to the back of Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes during his arrest until he became motionless. Floyd’s death sparked protests across the country, with many demonstrating in opposition to police brutality.
Over 3,000 National Guardsman, state and local police officers, sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement personnel braced for more anticipated riots in Minneapolis this week as the trial came to a close Monday evening.
While the jury worked to determine a verdict Tuesday, President Joe Biden opined on the trial, saying, “I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view.”
On Monday, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the Chauvin trial, slammed comments made by Representative Maxine Waters over the weekend when she encouraged rioters to “get more confrontational” if Derek Chauvin is not found guilty of murder for the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“I’m aware that Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction and talk about being confrontational,” Cahill said. “This goes back to what I’ve been saying since the beginning: I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch in our function.”
“I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect the co-equal branch of government,” he continued. “Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent.”
The judge later said that Congresswoman Waters may have given the defense legal grounds to have the entire trial overturned in appeals.
“We’re looking for a guilty verdict. We’re looking for a guilty verdict. And we’re looking to see if all of this talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd,” Waters said on Saturday. “If nothing does not happen, then we know, that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice, but I am very hopeful and I hope that we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty. And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”
“And we’ve got to get more active. [We’ve] got to get more confrontational,” she continued. “[We’ve] got to make sure that they know we mean business.”