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On Tuesday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests and riots against racism and police shootings. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter; the second-degree murder charge, carries a maximum of 40 years in prison.
As a result of Chauvin’s trial, several cities saw celebrations. Businesses and law enforcement had prepared for potential unrest, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an anti-riot bill Monday. A day after the trial, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the Justice Department will investigate the policies and operations of the Minneapolis Police Department. The defense is considering an appeal for Chauvin, considering the wide publicity the trial has received, the defense's request to move the trial, and the potential bias created after Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) and President Joe Biden made statements about the trial before the verdict was released. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Biden would take up police reform issues with Congress next week.
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Snippets from the Right
"Derek Chauvin's murder conviction was met with widespread approval among those seeking justice for George Floyd, but the trial's outcome may not be set in stone thanks to remarks from influential political leaders such as Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and President Biden himself."
"I found reasonable doubt dripping from multiple layers of the case against Derek Chauvin. A unanimous jury verdict to the contrary does not change my mind in the least. However, I am now tasked with how to process this result as relief and celebration spread across the land, amid talk of healing and renewed faith in our system among those who had grown distrustful."
Snippets from the Left
"Despite the widely circulated video capturing Derek Chauvin choking the life out of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street last May, it was never clear that the former police officer would be convicted of anything, let alone murder. Despite increasing attention to police violence, particularly against Black Americans, it’s still vanishingly rare for officers in the U.S. to be charged, let alone convicted."
"But the moment when Chauvin was led to a jail cell, hands cuffed behind his back, triggered relief and, in places, disbelief. It validated a social and political movement, championed by celebrities and athletes, that spanned the globe after Floyd's murder last May that sent citizens of all ethnicities into the streets during a pandemic to demand justice."
Snippets from the Center
Snopes (Fact Check)
"In the course of her comments, Pelosi reportedly said something that caught the ear of social media users: “Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.” This was a genuine quote. It’s true that Pelosi said “Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.”"
"Because Chauvin was not charged with first-degree murder, he is eligible for appeal, which must be filed by his defense attorneys within 90 days of Tuesday's jury verdict. The Minneapolis jury found Chauvin guilty on count one, unintentional second-degree murder, Count two, third-degree murder, perpetrating an eminently dangerous act, and count three, second-degree manslaughter, culpable negligence on Tuesday afternoon. Deliberations began one day prior and sentencing is set to take place in eight weeks, Judge Peter Cahill said."