Minneapolis, NM – The nation held its collective breath for what felt like an eternity on Tuesday (April 20) waiting on the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Department officer responsible for George Floyd’s death last May.
Chauvin was facing charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, ultimately killing him.
According to CNN, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
George Floyd’s life was unjustly snuffed out on May 25, 2020 outside of Cup Foods in the Twin Cities. Last June, attorneys for the Floyd family revealed the 46-year-old man died of asphyxia from neck and back compression.
“George died because he needed a breath,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said during a press conference at the time. “I implore all of us to take a breath for justice, to take a breath for peace, to take a breath for our country and to take a breath for George.”
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The independent autopsy was performed by renowned forensic medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden who, along with colleague Dr. Allecia Wilson, found the manner of Floyd’s death to be a homicide.
“[They found] Mr. Floyd’s death was homicide caused by asphyxia caused by neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain,” the report reads in part. “Sustained pressure on the right side of Mr. Floyd’s carotid artery impeded blood flow to the brain, and weight on his back impeded his ability to breathe.
“The independent examiners found that weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability of Mr. Floyd’s diaphragm to function. From all the evidence, the doctor said it now appears Mr. Floyd died at the scene.”
Floyd’s death sparked outrage across the globe, with hundreds of protests erupting all over the United States — despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Floyd is just one of many Black people killed by white police officers and this historic case is a rare example of how the justice system can actually work for the African-American community.