On Tuesday, April 20, Derek Chauvin was found guilty for causing George Floyd’s death in May of 2020.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes (NBC).
Although activists are relieved after hearing the verdict, they believe this is only the beginning of the fight to equality.
“While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest. We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been for too long marginalized,” said former president Barack Obama.
Although many were happy about the outcome of the case, some citizens do not believe the incident was not racially charged and the punishment was unreasonable.
“You have to take into account that officers are human beings, capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations,” said Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney.
“In this case, the totality of the circumstances that were known to a reasonable police officer in the precise moment the force was used demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be. This is reasonable doubt,” Nelson said.
Chauvin is awaiting sentencing within the next eight weeks. He is facing the recommended sentence of 150 months but the prosecution is wanting a higher sentence. So he could possibly face 30 years in prison (USA Today).