Justice for George Floyd

george floyd

On May 25th, 2020, police officers in Minneapolis arrested George Floyd for using a supposed counterfeit $20 bill. Less than 20 minutes minutes after the officers arrived, George Floyd was non-responsive, pinned down by Derek Chauvin. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes, even as bystanders pleaded him to check for a pulse and let him up. Over the course of the 9 minutes, Floyd could be heard saying that he couldn’t breathe, calling out for his mother. After EMS arrived, paramedics had to tap Chauvin on the shoulder to get him to move. George Floyd had no pulse in the ambulance, and was declared dead shortly after. The following day, four police officers present at the scene were fired.

Timeline:

May 25th, 2020 —-
8:11pm: Oficers force Floyd out of his car
8:17pm: A third squad car arrives
8:20pm: 3 Officers push Floyd onto to the ground and hold him there
8:27pm: Ambulance arrives
8:29pm: Floyd is moved into ambulance
9:25pm: Pronounced dead at hospital

May 26th, 2020 —-
Police issue statement saying that Floyd died of a “medical incident” and that he resisted arrest. Following the statement, bystander videos are posted online. Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao are fired.

May 29th, 2020 —-
Derek Chauvin is arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

June 1st, 2020 —-
Medical examiner finds that George Floyd’s heart stopped as a result police restraint on his neck, noting that Floyd had underlying health issues and listed fentanyl and methamphetamines use as “other significant conditions.”

June 1st, 2020 —-
Second-degree murder charge added against Chauvin. Charged three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest and death.

June 5th, 2020 —-
Minneapolis bans chokeholds by police.

July 15th, 2020 —
Floyd family sues Minneapolis and the four former officers.

Oct. 7th, 2020 —
Chauvin posts $1-million bond, released from state prison

March 12th, 2021 —
Minneapolis agrees to pay $27-million settlement to George Floyd’s family

March 29th, 2021 —
Opening statements are given in trial

April 12th, 2021 —
Judge declines request to sequester Chauvin jury

April 19th, 2021 —
Jury begins deliberation

April 20th, 2021 —
Jury finds Chauvin to be guilty on all charges. Sentencing date set for 8 weeks from this date.

Trial of Derek Chauvin, Police Officer Who Killed Floyd

Derek Chauvin went to trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. As of April 20th 2021, nearly a year later, Chauvin was convicted of all three charges. His sentencing will take place around 8 weeks from this date.

For Chauvin to be convicted of all three charges, the prosecutors had to prove that Chauvin was the cause of Floyd’s death and that his use of force was unreasonable. During the trial, Derek Chauvin plead not-guilty to all three charges. He declined to testify, invoking his Fifth Amendment right. His defense attorney, Eric Nelson, argued that Chauvin’s use of force, though unappealing in hindsight, was appropriate and that Chauvin felt threatened by the gathering crowd of bystanders. Further, Nelson asserted that Floyd’s death was a result of drug use and pre-existing heart problems rather than Chauvin’s actions.

The maximum sentences for:

  • Second-degree unintentional murder – imprisonment of not more than 40 years
  • Third-degree murder – imprisonment of not more than 25 years
  • Second-degree manslaughter – 10 years and/or $20,000

After three weeks of trial, the jury has found Derek Chauvin to be guilty of all charges in the murder of George Floyd.

ActivismImpacts