Derek Chauvin guilty in murder of George Floyd

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 11:36 a.m. ET, April 22, 2021
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7:48 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

The jury verdict for Chauvin was not the system working, but people making the system work, Van Jones says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

The jury’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial is not an example of the system working, but instead of “people making the system work,” CNN commentator Van Jones says.

“What happened is the voting worked. You can tell the young people now — voting matters. The protesting worked. You can tell young people — marching matters. And the truth. The fact that people got involved with their video cameras, they captured it. Citizen engagement matters. So there's a formula now that you can begin to show people we can make the system work for change.”

Jones emphasized that the Floyd’s murder was first filed as a medical incident in a police report but people “rose up and said ‘we're not going to let this go,’” he said, adding that the governor gave the case to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Black man, who put a lot of resources on the table.

Jones remarked that he can now tell his sons that they have a way forward:

“The humanity of a generation was on trial, not just a system, the humanity of the whole generation. [Younger Black people] now see, I can make the system work for me. It's not fair, I’ve got to fight harder than I should, but I've got a shot. We didn't feel that way in the '90s as young Black folks. We felt like we had been thrown away. And so this is a big deal.”
8:06 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Floyd's cousin says she's "pleased" after verdict, but "still saddened at the same time" 

From CNN's Deanna Hackney 

George Floyd's cousin, Paris Stevens, says she is "pleased" but "still saddened at the same time" about Tuesday's verdict in the Derek Chauvin case. 

Stevens and Floyd's aunt Angela Harrelson, spoke to CNN's Adrienne Broaddus in Minneapolis during the early morning hours Wednesday. 

"I'm pleased that I know that change is here, and police are going to start being held accountable," Stevens said, adding that she is of course sad Floyd isn't alive today. 

Angela Harrelson gave praise to Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old who filmed Floyd's murder at the hands of the former police officer. 

"It really doesn't surprise me that much, with police cover-ups, because they've always had done that, especially towards black and brown people," Harrelson said. "The sad thing is if it hadn't been for that 17-year-old girl Darnella, it would have been another black man, that was killed by the police, his own fault, and they would have said, 'Oh, it was drugs, oh it was this'. And we would never have had the story we would have and wouldn't be here today talking."

Harrelson told Broaddus that she is "really, really good" with Chauvin's potential punishment for killing her nephew.

"We are going to continue this journey, and we must not let his death be his last word. We must not let his death be the last word," Harrelson said. 


7:18 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Jury verdict is not justice but "a good step" in accountability, CNN commentator says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

After the jury in Derek Chauvin trial found the former Minneapolis Police officer guilty of all three charges against him, CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers says it’s not justice but “a good step in accountability.”

“I don't want anyone to get confused about the journey that we're on together,” he told CNN. “Justice would be George Floyd alive. Justice would be policy and reforms in place that ensured that when police interact with people of color they can live through those interactions. Yesterday was a good step when it comes to accountability though.”

And that is reason for hope, he said.

“Finally, we have accountability in a criminal justice system that hasn't ever been there before. And so, that is why people are breathing easier. That’s why people are having some semblance of hope because of that accountability.”


9:28 a.m. ET, April 21, 2021

Chauvin was found guilty of murder yesterday. He'll be sentenced in 8 weeks.

From CNN's Amir Vera

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd on Tuesday, a verdict that sent waves of celebration across the United States after years of protests against police brutality.

It will be another eight weeks before he is sentenced, Judge Peter Cahill said Tuesday. And while Chauvin had been out on bail since October, Cahill revoked Chauvin's bail after the verdict, so he will now await sentencing in jail.

Chauvin was transferred to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, according to Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesperson Sarah Fitzgerald. The correctional facility is in Stillwater, about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis.

He is there through an agreement between the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Fitzgerald told CNN.

Cahill will consider factors such as Floyd's murder taking place in front of a child, and the power dynamic between the officers and civilians, in determining Chauvin's sentence.

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 manslaughter.

Minnesota's sentencing guidelines recommend about 12.5 years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge. In this case, the state has asked for a tougher sentence than the recommendations provide.