The world is at a standstill following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. After kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for more than nine minutes, Chauvin has been convicted of third-degree manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder. In spite of the video evidence that was made available to the public last May, many were worried that a guilty verdict may not be reached. With this news, many have taken to social media to celebrate.
"Today, a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing," former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted.
"Guilty! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement," attorney Ben Crump added.
While this verdict is celebrated by many, it does not bring Floyd back to his family nor does it end the road to societal reform. In the days and weeks that come, there are more than a few dates to keep in mind.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. He will be held in custody without bail until his next hearing. Judge Peter Cahill has set the former officer's sentencing hearing for eight weeks from today. This ruling would place Chauvin's hearing for the third week of June. He faces up 40 years in prison.
While Chauvin has been found guilty, three are other officers still awaiting trial in connection to the events of May 25. Chauvin's colleagues, Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao still face charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. The trio of former police officers are set to stand trial on August 23.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is gearing up for yet another election. Over the last ten months, Frey has faced intense scrutiny for his handling of last summer's protests and his relationship with the police force. At one point during the uprisings, Frey attended a community gathering in downtown Minneapolis and was booed out of the event upon his arrival. Frey is considered the favorite in the upcoming election, but he faces competition from community organizer Sheila June Nezhad, educator Kate Knuth and former U.S. Marine Philip Sturm.
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