Police Officer: Guilty as charged


Offices of Ben Crump Law

Officer Derek Chauvin (left) tried and convicted for the murder of George Floyd (right).

It has been over a year since the death of George Floyd took the world by storm. Floyd died on May 25th, 2020, during his arrest for the accusation that he was attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill in Minneapolis. His cause of death? Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee held to his neck for nine and a half minutes.

Caught on film, Officer Chauvin’s crime created an outcry as millions of people viewed this as an act of police brutality. Floyd became the face of a movement. This movement contained a mix of opinions as people took to the streets and the internet to express their views on the topic. The protests travelled across the entire nation, with at least one in each state, many banded together to make their voices heard and seek justice for those who lost their lives.

The Black Lives Matter movement became a big step in terms of civil rights, yet it highlights how much work needs to be done. Many allies to the movement labeled it their “wakeup call” and used whatever platforms they had to amplify the voices of people of color, in order to spread the information and their message. Using “#justiceforgeorgefloyd” became a staple of the movement, as people began altering the hashtag to fit the names of other victims to spread awareness. Police departments nationwide suspended the officers accused of these crimes, yet very few were ever removed. Minneapolis police arrested the four officers on the scene of Floyd’s death, yet it has taken them 11 months to take the case to trial.

The trial occurred on April 9th, 2021. Several news channels covered the event through livestreams on platforms such as YouTube where people worldwide could tune in and watch. The trial lasted three weeks, and after ten hours of careful consideration by the jury, a verdict was presented.

Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of all three charges: second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. The charges wrack up to a collective seventy-five years in prison, however it is likely Chauvin will only receive a maximum of forty years; the maximum time for his most severe charge of second degree murder.

Putting Officer Chauvin behind bars will not bring back George Floyd, but it brings a little sliver of justice and closure to the family who lost him.