Derek Chauvin guilty in death of George Floyd

By Mike Hayes, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Updated 12:06 AM ET, Wed April 21, 2021
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4:15 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

"It's going to be alright," George Floyd's brother reacts to upcoming verdict announcement

From CNN's Sara Sidner / Written by CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

CNN's Sara Sidner said she informed Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother, that the jury had reached a verdict. Sidner said he was not aware until she asked him.

Sidner reported that he reacted with "calm."

"He was telling me, 'It's going to be alright,'" Sidner said.

She said he told her, "For the rest of the country, this will be an historic decision in this case. But for the family, this is a personal, a personal issue. An issue that is deeply, deeply, deeply personal for every single member of the Floyd family."

Philonise Floyd also told Sidner that he believes that the case is historic for the country and that "no matter what happens with this jury, that it will be historic."

"He also said something else about the fact that this case even came into the court, was even charged in the first place. He said, this is what should be happening and should have been happening in cases like theirs, with other situations between police and particularly police and African Americans in this country. He said, you know, in his mind, when the police do something incorrect, when the police take a life... In his mind, then they should be treated like everyone else in this country, every other citizen," Sidner said about her conversation with Philonise Floyd regarding the verdict.

Hear more from CNN's Sara Sidner:

4:00 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

The jury's verdict will be read soon. Here are key things to know about the charges against Derek Chauvin.

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper

A verdict has been reached in Derek Chauvin's trial in the death of George Floyd, according to a notice posted by the court on the Hennepin County Court's website.

The jurors' decision will be read in open court between 4:30 and 5 p.m. ET, the court said.

The jury of five men and seven women deliberated for four hours Monday afternoon and resumed deliberating Tuesday morning, according to the court. They are being sequestered from the public during deliberations.

Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

  • The second-degree unintentional murder charge alleges Chauvin caused Floyd's death "without intent" while committing or attempting to commit felony third-degree assault. In turn, third-degree assault is defined as the intentional infliction of substantial bodily harm.
  • The third-degree murder charge alleges Chauvin caused Floyd's death by "perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life."
  • The second-degree manslaughter charge alleges Chauvin caused Floyd's death by "culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm."

Each of the three charges requires prosecutors to prove that Chauvin's actions were not objectively reasonable and that they were a substantial cause of Floyd's death. But the charges differ primarily in how they interpret his intent and mindset during his restraint of Floyd.

Some of the terms in these charges have specific definitions. Others have been left up to the jury to interpret.

As in any criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of proof and must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Any verdict the jury reaches must be unanimous.

Remember: The charges are to be considered separate, so he can be convicted of all, some or none of them. If convicted, Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter.

The actual sentences would likely be much lower, though, because Chauvin has no prior convictions. Minnesota's sentencing guidelines recommend about 12.5 years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge. The judge would ultimately decide the exact length and whether those would be served at the same time or back-to-back.

Read more about the charges against Chauvin here.

5:32 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

Derek Chauvin jury reaches a verdict

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper in Minneapolis


A verdict has been reached in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, according to a notice posted on the Hennepin County Court's website. 

"A verdict has been reached and will be read between 3:30-4:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 20" (4:30-5:00 p.m. ET), according to the notice.

Jurors deliberated for four hours on Monday and resumed deliberating this morning at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET). The court did not specify in the notice when jurors stopped deliberating today.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020. He has pleaded not guilty.

1:53 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

Biden was "not looking to influence" the Chauvin trial with comments on verdict, White House says

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Biden meets with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Tuesday.
President Biden meets with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Tuesday. Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden was not looking to influence the Derek Chauvin trial with his comments on the expected verdict Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, noting he felt it was appropriate to weigh in on the trial at this moment since the jury is sequestered.

Biden told reporters earlier in the Oval Office in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he is “praying that the verdict is the right verdict, which is I think it’s overwhelming in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now, not hear me say that.”

Psaki would not specify what Biden viewed as “overwhelming” in the Chauvin trial.

“As he also noted, the jury is sequestered which is why he spoke to this, but I would expect he will weigh in more – further once there is a verdict and I’m not going to provide additional analysis on what he meant,” Psaki said at Tuesday’s White House press briefing.

Asked if there is concern that the President’s words could add to potential unrest in Minneapolis and around the country if the “right verdict” is not reached, Psaki said that regardless of the outcome, Biden has consistently called for peace.

“Our focus, as we’re working with state and local authorities, is on providing the space for peaceful protest and that will be consistent regardless of what the outcome of this, of the verdict is,” she said.

Psaki said Biden is “not looking to influence” the case, which is why he only spoke out when the jury is sequestered, but the President “has been touched on the impact on the family, hence he called the family yesterday and had that discussion.” She reiterated that much of the conversation focused on the loss the Floyd family is dealing with, something the President knows first-hand.

Psaki also said she doesn’t think Biden felt as if he was “weighing in on the verdict,” in his comments, but rather conveying compassion towards the family.

1:36 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

How police in Dallas are preparing for possible protests after the Chauvin verdict

From CNN’s Carma Hassan and Jeremy Grisham

The Dallas Police Department said they are preparing for possible demonstrations after a verdict is reached in Derek Chauvin’s trial. 

There currently aren’t any credible threats to the city or the North Texas region, but police are monitoring events for any potential threats, they said in a statement. 

“The Department will respect individuals expressing their first amendment rights, and our goal is for a peaceful and safe assembly for all individuals exercising their constitutional rights,” police said. 

Jurors have been deliberating the Chauvin case for more than eight hours now. It's not clear exactly when they could reach a verdict.

1:33 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

Go There: CNN answers your questions about the Chauvin trial as jury continues deliberations

The jury is in day two of deliberations in the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. 

CNN correspondent Sara Sidner was live from Minneapolis answering viewers' questions:

1:01 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

The jury has been deliberating for 8 hours

The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial have now been deliberating for eight hours, and they're going into their ninth hour.

Jurors began deliberating this morning at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET), according to the Hennepin County Court. They deliberated for another four hours on Monday.

The jury is sequestered and is staying in a hotel at night until they reach a verdict.

1:24 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

Biden says he’s praying for "right verdict" in Chauvin case, noting evidence is "overwhelming" in his view

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Biden speaks during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Oval Office on Tuesday, April 20.
President Biden speaks during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Oval Office on Tuesday, April 20. Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

President Biden said Tuesday that he is praying for the right verdict in the trial if ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, noting that the evidence, in his view, is “overwhelming.”

 The remarks, made in the Oval Office during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, mark a rare moment by the President of weighing in by strongly suggesting what he thinks the outcome of the trial should be before the jury has reached a verdict.

Biden, who also elaborated on his Monday conversation with the family of George Floyd, said he was only making the comments because the jury is sequestered.

“They’re a good family, and they’re calling for peace and tranquility, no matter what that verdict is. I’m praying that the verdict is the right verdict, which is, I think it’s overwhelming in my view. I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now, not hear me say that,” he told reporters in the Oval Office in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. 

Biden echoed remarks from Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, that they had a private conversation Tuesday discussing loss. 

“I’ve come to know George’s family, not just in passing. I’ve spent time with them, I’ve spent time with his little daughter Gianna — you should see this beautiful child — and his brother, both brothers, as a matter of fact. So I can only imagine the pressure and anxiety that they’re feeling. And so I waited until the jury was sequestered, and then I called,” he said.

The jury has started day two of deliberations in the trial of Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd.

As CNN has previously reported, the White House is closely monitoring developments and making contingency plans in case of unrest. Aides are considering or drafting statements for Biden to deliver, either in person or in writing, once a verdict is delivered.

Biden is trying to strike a balance between acknowledging racial inequity while also maintaining calm, wanting neither to replicate the heavily militarized response to protests under Trump nor to appear absent in the face of violence or unrest directed at law enforcement, all while acknowledging the systemic racism that pervades the system.


12:00 p.m. ET, April 20, 2021

George Floyd’s aunt as family awaits verdict: “We need to get it right this time”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

George Floyd’s aunt and cousin said they are hoping for a guilty verdict as the jury continues its deliberations in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin.

“We need this verdict. Minnesota needs this verdict to be guilty. America needs it. The world needs it. We need to get it right this time. Because there's been too many times it has gotten wrong,” Angela Harrelson, Floyd’s aunt, said to CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

Harrelson, along with Floyd’s cousin Paris Stevens, said the family is on “pins and needles” awaiting the verdict. 

Harrelson said the family has also discussed a possible not-guilty verdict. 

“In the past, when Black and brown people have been in this same situation, they didn't have a choice but to prepare with an acquittal,” Harrelson said. “… And if this is an acquittal, we'll be devastated. But we know our fight has to be much harder now. And we're going to continue to go on and fight as a family.”

Stevens said anyone planning for possible protests needs to be peaceful. 

“They have the right to protest. Of course, we want a peaceful protest. We don't want any other American to be hurt, anyone. But protesting is a way for us to be heard,” she said. 

“Use your voice, but remember the message,” Harrelson added. “… This is about not just racism; it's about equality. We need to try to help be a participant to help change this world to [be a] better place for future generations, so that [Floyd’s] death is not in vain. Because we cannot let his death be his last word.”