Live Updates: Trial Over George Floyd's Killing A former Minneapolis police officer faces murder charges. The killing of George Floyd, a Black man, sparked nationwide protests and a reckoning about race and policing.

Live Updates: Trial Over George Floyd's Killing

The latest from the murder trial of Derek Chauvin in Minnesota

New York Police Department officers on patrol in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan last month. Foot patrols were increased following the mass shooting in Atlanta which killed eight people, six of them women of Asian descent. Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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New York Police Department officers on patrol in the Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan last month. Foot patrols were increased following the mass shooting in Atlanta which killed eight people, six of them women of Asian descent.

Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

In the days since a jury in Minneapolis convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, many police officers and law enforcement organizations around the U.S. have expressed relief at the trial's outcome.

After the video of Floyd's death went viral last May, many sought to distance themselves from Chauvin, characterizing him as one of the so-called "bad apples" that spoil the reputation of officers who try to do things the right way.

"As we have said from the beginning, what Derek Chauvin did that day was not policing. It was murder. The jury has spoken and he will face consequences for his actions," said Patrick Lynch, the president of New York City's Police Benevolent Association, in a statement released Wednesday.

In a striking repudiation of Chauvin's actions, 10 of his former colleagues at the Minneapolis Police Department testified against him during the trial, including police chief and star witness Medaria Arradondo, who said Chauvin's restraint of Floyd "in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy."

"We recognize that our community is hurting, and hearts are heavy with many emotions. However, I have hope," said Arradondo in a statement after the verdict. "Together, we can find our moment to begin to heal."

But some other police organizations — while not defending Chauvin's actions — chose to decry what they saw as politicization of the judicial process or remained silent altogether.

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, the union that represents officers in the Minneapolis Police Department, last summer disavowed once-member Derek Chauvin. The union has also resisted police reforms at the city and state level.

In a statement released Tuesday after the verdict, the union thanked the jury before declaring "there are no winners in this case."

"We need the political pandering to stop and the race-baiting of elected officials to stop," the statement read. "In addition, we need to stop the divisive comments and we all need to do better to create a Minneapolis we all love."

The Minneapolis police union is part of a larger statewide group called the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, whose legal defense fund is paying for Derek Chauvin's defense team.

That group told NPR it did not have any comment on the verdict. It also declined to share any information about how much it has spent so far. The case is not yet wrapped; Chauvin is due to be sentenced in eight weeks, and an appeal is likely to follow.

Reform efforts riven by disagreement

The trial and verdict have renewed calls for structural changes to policing, both around the U.S. and in the Twin Cities region, where the funeral of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man shot by police while resisting arrest as the Chauvin trial was underway, is taking place today.

"What if we just prevented the problem instead of having to try these cases?" said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison after the verdict Tuesday. "We don't want any more community members dying at the hands of law enforcement and their families' lives ruined. We don't want any more law enforcement members having to face criminal charges and their families' lives ruined."

The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday it will investigate possible patterns of discrimination and excessive force among the Minneapolis Police Department, an inquiry Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told NPR he "welcomes."

"I believe strongly that it's an opportunity to continue working towards that deep change and accountability that we know that we need in the Minneapolis department," Frey said.

Even as many states passed reform legislation last summer, including Minnesota, police reform remains a complicated endeavor due to the decentralized nature of law enforcement in the U.S.

There are more than 18,000 independent law enforcement agencies, some with thousands of sworn officers and many more with just a handful.

"The federal government doesn't have authority to dictate how local law enforcement is provided, but they can certainly incentivize local law enforcement to follow standards or models," said Sue Rahr, the former King County, Wash., sheriff who is soon retiring as head of Washington state's police training commission.

A wide-ranging police reform bill bearing George Floyd's name passed the U.S. House of Representatives last month. For federal law enforcement officers, it would ban chokeholds, no-knock warrants and racial and religious profiling, and put an end to qualified immunity. The bill would also encourage states to follow suit by making those bans a condition of federal aid.

But its prospects in the Senate, where it needs the support of at least 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster, are uncertain.

"One of the things I say to [Republicans] is that until policing is transformed in the United States, don't be surprised if police continue to have a reputation that becomes worse and worse every time one of these incidents is happening," said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and the bill's sponsor in the House, in an interview with NPR.

Bass is working with Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Tim Scott of South Carolina, one of only three Republican African Americans in Congress. Scott, who proposed a Republican alternative last year that failed due to Democratic opposition, told reporters Wednesday that the group is "on the verge of wrapping this up in the next week or two."

"We have a moment in time right now, and we need to seize that moment, take this and get it across the finish line," said Bass.

NPR's Martin Kaste contributed reporting.

Vanita Gupta appears during her confirmation hearing last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate voted to confirm Gupta as associate attorney general in a 51-49 vote. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Vanita Gupta appears during her confirmation hearing last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate voted to confirm Gupta as associate attorney general in a 51-49 vote.

Alex Brandon/AP

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly voted to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, elevating a longtime civil rights attorney to the third-highest position inside the Justice Department on the same day the agency announced renewed efforts to monitor local police practices.

Gupta was confirmed by a vote of 51 to 49, with only one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, breaking ranks to join Democrats in approving her nomination.

With her confirmation, Gupta, 46, will become the first woman of color in Justice Department history to serve as associate attorney general — a role in which she will oversee the department's civil rights litigation as well as its antitrust, civil and environment divisions.

Speaking from the Senate floor Wednesday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called Gupta's confirmation "very good news for the forces of equality and justice in the country."

"Not only is Ms. Gupta the first woman of color to ever be nominated to the position, she is the first civil rights attorney ever to be nominated to the position," Schumer said. "That's shocking, really. We never have had a former civil rights attorney serving in such a position of prominence at the Justice Department."

Wednesday's vote marked the culmination of a contentious confirmation process for Gupta, who nearly saw her nomination derailed by Republicans over her advocacy for progressive policies as well as her past criticism of former President Donald Trump during her time as head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

During her confirmation hearing, Gupta apologized for any "harsh rhetoric" she has used against Republicans but nonetheless struggled to win GOP support. In remarks ahead of the vote, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced he would oppose Gupta, saying she had "levied attacks on members of this body" and "amplified left-wing fear-mongering toward judicial nominees and sitting federal judges."

At the time of her hearing, Gupta had also been targeted by five Republican state attorneys general as well as a nearly $1 million negative advertising campaign launched by the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. Much of the criticism centered on Gupta's work at the Justice Department during the Obama administration, when she oversaw investigations of police departments after white officers shot and killed Black citizens — including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Explaining her party-breaking support for Gupta, Alaska's Murkowski said that while some of the nominee's past remarks troubled her, she was ultimately swayed by a lengthy conversation with Gupta.

"I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated throughout her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice," Murkowski said.

Gupta won similar praise during her confirmation from the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest law enforcement union. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the group's president called Gupta a "strong defender of civil rights" and said she "always worked with us to find common ground even when that seemed impossible."

Gupta will return to the Justice Department at a moment when it is recommitting itself to increased federal oversight of police departments.

Following Tuesday's guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced an investigation into possible patterns of discrimination and excessive force by the city's police force.

The announcement marked the Biden administration's first such "pattern or practice" investigation — a tool used more than two dozen times by the Obama administration but just once under Trump.

Gupta is expected to play a leading role in the department's work to police the police. Addressing the verdict against Chauvin on Tuesday, President Biden said Gupta had spent her entire career "fighting to advance racial equity and justice," saying she had "the experience and the skill necessary to advance our administration's priorities to root out unconstitutional policing and reform our criminal justice system."

Minneapolis Mayor Says He Welcomes Justice Department Policing Investigation

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was met with boos from protestors in his city last summer after saying he didn't support abolishing the police. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images hide caption

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was met with boos from protestors in his city last summer after saying he didn't support abolishing the police.

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

As former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin awaits sentencing after his conviction on three counts of murder in the death of George Floyd, policymakers in Minneapolis are trying to figure out how to improve policing.

Concurrently, the Justice Department has launched an investigation into the city's police department to address possible patterns of discrimination and excessive force.

"We very much welcome the investigation," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told All Things Considered on Wednesday. "I was on the phone with the DOJ earlier today, and I believe strongly that it's an opportunity to continue working towards that deep change and accountability that we know that we need in the Minneapolis department."

The MPD has been under scrutiny for the last year, but Black people's grievances against the department go back decades. Now, the city council is mulling giving voters an option on the ballot this November to replace the police department outright with a new entity based around public health.

While Frey doesn't see eye to eye with advocates of the #DefundThePolice movement, he was forthright about the need to significantly reform the police and Minneapolis at large.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


Interview Highlights

In your view has there been a pattern of unlawful, unconstitutional policing in Minneapolis?

We've certainly had issues in our Minneapolis Police Department, like many other police departments throughout our country. And now I feel like we've reached a point when people are pushing very clearly for change. We're making sure that the precision of our actions right now match the precision of the harm that has been inflicted over quite some time. And let's be clear, we've got a mandate right now for that change. These cycles of trauma and tragedy, they're not going to interrupt themselves, so we need to act.

Let's stay with the changes that you would like to see happen. What are your prioritizing?

There have been a litany of changes that have already taken place. There are also more changes that are underway and that need to happen. Our Black community continues to demand these changes of the highest order. And that's everything from the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act at the federal level, that's state law changes and we need safety beyond policing as well. Noting that not every single 911 one call needs response from an officer with a gun.

The Minneapolis City Council is working to give voters an option on the ballot to eliminate the police department. Now in past you have not supported moves like that. Where are you now?

I very much support a comprehensive strategy to public safety that includes the aspects that I just talked about, whether it's a mental health co-responder approach or social workers or individuals that have experience working with those experiencing homelessness. That's important and that doesn't need to have response from an officer. The part where we diverge is twofold. One, I do not believe we should be defunding/abolishing the police department in a way that we would be significantly reducing the already very low number of officers that we have on a per capita basis in Minneapolis. And two, I don't support a move that would have the head of public safety or the chief of police report to 14 individuals. I believe that that diminishes accountability and it clearly diminishes the ability to provide clear direction.

How are you thinking about helping your city heal?

Our city has gone through a barrage of trauma over this last year, in many respects culminating in the trial and the verdict that we just saw yesterday. This is a moment perhaps centuries in the making — a centuries in the making reckoning around racial justice. And also, I want to note that we don't want to shortchange that moment in a way that we limit the conversations to simply aspects of policing. The conversation needs to be about economic inclusion. It needs to be about rights in housing. We need to be making clear moves towards racial equity in every shape and form, towards justice and to healing. And that can't simply focus on policy reforms and policing itself. Of course, that's part of it. But we need to go well beyond.

Karen Zamora, Elena Burnett and Courtney Dorning produced and edited the audio interview. Mano Sundaresan adapted it for Web.

Activist: Convictions In George Floyd's Death Could Represent 'A Huge Paradigm Shift'

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People celebrate at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial on Tuesday. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images hide caption

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People celebrate at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial on Tuesday.

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The murder conviction of Derek Chauvin could represent "a huge paradigm shift," if three other Minneapolis officers charged in George Floyd's death are also convicted, says Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and activist in Minneapolis.

"Before yesterday's verdict, Minnesota officers had been sent the message that they could take a Black life and that there would not be any real accountability under the law, which makes it dangerous for Black people and other people of color," Armstrong said Wednesday in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition.

Along with the charges against Kim Potter, a Brooklyn Center Police Department veteran who killed Daunte Wright, "that is a huge paradigm shift," if all of those officers "wind up being convicted," Armstrong said. "It would have been unimaginable just even a month ago that something like that was possible."

"There is a lot of excitement about the fact that what we would call a killer cop is finally convicted," she said.

Armstrong said "this did not happen because the system worked. This happened because the people put in the work. At every hand, we had to press for the officers to be fired, for them to be charged, for there to be more serious charges and things like that."

She's not sure that Chauvin's conviction will set a precedent for how police behave in the future.

"It remains to be seen as to how the system will respond when an officer shoots someone or has to make a split-second decision versus the circumstances of this case," Armstrong said.

In a separate Morning Edition interview, Chris Stewart, a lawyer for the Floyd family, said, "The system worked because the people put in work. And when something has a bright light shined upon it, it functions properly."

Bystander video of Floyd's murder on a Minneapolis street made all the difference in bringing attention to his death, Stewart said. "Normally I say justice by video is the only way that African Americans ever, you know, get prosecutions in this type of case. ..."

"If there were no videos, if there were no bystanders screaming, 'Get off him.' If no one was paying attention, we never would have heard of this case. ... The world wouldn't have made it go viral," Stewart said.

Stewart also represented the family of Walter Scott, a Black man whose fatal shooting in 2015 by a white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., also was captured on video. Stewart says the pandemic helped raise the focus on Floyd's death.

Coverage of Scott's death "was huge," Stewart recalls. "It was worldwide for about a month. And then people moved on. You know, you got back to work. You got back to your family. You got back to life. But when George Floyd happened, we were all trapped in our homes. You couldn't move on. You know, there was no going to work. There was no leaving the house. And so people that normally wouldn't care about the death of some Black man in Minnesota cared."

Stewart says that proper policing and caring about how police treat people of color are not mutually exclusive.

"Because you want to hold an officer accountable does not mean you're against policing ..." he said. "We've been pushed that you have to choose a side, which is pure stupidity. You know, you can support good policing and you can support victims that don't look like you."

Milton Guevara, Arezou Rezvani and Scott Saloway produced and edited the audio versions of this story. Avie Schneider produced for the Web.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks alongside members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday following the verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Jose Luis Magana/AP hide caption

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks alongside members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Tuesday following the verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

Jose Luis Magana/AP

With the verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin now in for the murder of George Floyd, attention is turning to Congress and whether lawmakers can meet the growing demand from across the nation for meaningful changes to policing.

On Capitol Hill, the guilty verdict appeared to add a new sense of urgency around talks on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House of Representatives in early March, but seven weeks later remains bogged down in the Senate.

The legislation would ban chokeholds and end qualified immunity for law enforcement — the legal protection for police officers that limits victims' ability to sue for misconduct. It would ban no-knock warrants in federal drug cases, mandate data collection on police encounters and create a nationwide police misconduct registry to help hold problematic officers accountable. The bill would also prohibit racial and religious profiling and redirect funding to community-based policing programs.

The bill passed the House by a 220-212 vote, mostly along party lines. But it has faced an uphill climb in the Senate, where Republicans have sought to revive a competing plan by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., designed to diminish the use of chokeholds — but not ban them outright — and increase federal reporting requirements for use of force and no-knock warrants. Democrats blocked the plan last June, saying it did not go far enough to address racial inequality.

In the wake of the Chauvin trial, lawmakers from both parties are saying they want to see action on policing, but the path ahead seems far from certain. While Democrats technically hold the Senate majority, they would need 60 votes (all of the Democratic caucus plus 10 Republicans) to overcome a potential filibuster and pass legislation.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday after the verdict was announced, Rep. Karen Bass, who first introduced the House bill in the last Congress, said informal discussions were taking place between Democrats and Senate Republicans, but the California Democrat said she "would not call it negotiation."

Bass has said she would like to see a bill reach President Biden's desk by the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death on May 25, though it remains unclear whether Democrats will be able to secure the Republican votes they would need to reach that target.

"I am hopeful because I'm working with Sen. Scott, and Sen. Scott has received the blessing of his caucus," Bass said in an interview Wednesday with NPR's All Things Considered. "I believe that if he is supportive of the bill, that we will be able to round up the Republican senators that we need."

Scott, who has been leading talks for Republicans, expressed cautious optimism about reaching a deal on Wednesday, saying, "I think we are on the verge of wrapping this up in the next week or two."

One of the major sticking points has been qualified immunity, an issue that Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, said he was working to resolve with Bass; Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; and other Democrats.

"There is a way to put more of the onus or the burden on the department, or on the employer, than on the employee," Scott said. "I think that is a logical step forward and one that as I've spoken with Karen Bass over the last several weeks is something that the Democrats are quite receptive to."

He said other outstanding issues include how the legislation would deal with chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

Unlike last summer, when talks stalled in Congress, Democrats now hold the majority in the Senate and have a crucial ally in the White House. In a televised address to the nation after Tuesday's verdict, Biden said it was time for Congress to act.

"George Floyd was murdered almost a year ago," Biden said. "There's meaningful police reform legislation in his name ... legislation to tackle systemic misconduct in police departments, to restore trust between law enforcement and the people they're entrusted to serve and protect. But it shouldn't take a whole year to get this done."

Biden said he told the Floyd family that the White House would continue to fight for passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but his administration has faced criticism for failing to detail his efforts to secure its passage.

Asked Wednesday about the president's role in the negotiations, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden plans to use his address to a joint session of Congress next week "as an opportunity to elevate this issue and talk about the importance of putting police reform measures in place." Psaki also said the administration has been in direct conversation with leaders in Congress as well as with civil rights leaders who are advocating for the bill.

"But I will also say that there are times, and this is true in diplomacy, but also true in legislating, that ... the best strategy is to provide the space for those conversations to happen privately, and that's part of our objective," she said.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced the opening of an investigation by the Justice Department into possible patterns of discrimination and use of excessive force by the Minneapolis Police Department — the first such "pattern or practice" investigation in the Biden administration.

Derek Chauvin, seen here in a booking photo, faces sentencing in June. The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death. Minnesota Department of Corrections via AP hide caption

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Minnesota Department of Corrections via AP

Derek Chauvin, seen here in a booking photo, faces sentencing in June. The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death.

Minnesota Department of Corrections via AP

With Derek Chauvin found guilty of murder, attention now turns to his sentencing – and to the trial of three fellow former police officers who are accused of aiding and abetting Chauvin, who is white, in the killing of George Floyd, who was Black.

Tuesday's verdict is being hailed by activists who urge more accountability for police, particularly in officers' use of violent and deadly force against people of color.

Here's a look at what's next in the Minneapolis case:

Chauvin's likely prison sentence

Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced in June after a jury found him guilty of all three charges Tuesday. In Minnesota, a person convicted of multiple crimes that happened at the same time is typically only sentenced for the most severe charge. In this case, that would be second-degree murder (unintentional) while committing a felony.

State guidelines recommend that Chauvin be sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison for second-degree murder, given his lack of prior criminal history. But he could face a longer prison term if prosecutors successfully argue that aggravating factors – such as Chauvin's position of authority and Floyd's killing in front of a dozen witnesses – require greater punishment.

The maximum prison term for second-degree unintentional murder is 40 years, although the state's sentencing guidelines for second-degree unintentional murder largely taper off at 24 years.

Judge Peter Cahill, who has authority to sentence Chauvin above or below the guidelines, will take the first step in establishing the range of Chauvin's prison sentence in two weeks. He'll consider both sides' arguments over whether aggravating factors call for an "upward departure" in sentencing. Those arguments will be made in writing. The former police officer will be sentenced about six weeks later.

Under Minnesota law, people sentenced to prison become eligible to be considered for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence, providing they've had no disciplinary problems in prison.

Kueng, Lane and Thao face trial

The trial of three other former police officers who were involved in Floyd's death is set to begin on Aug. 23 in the same Hennepin County government building where Chauvin was tried.

The former officers — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — will be tried together. The state has charged them each with two counts of aiding and abetting — one for second-degree murder and one for second-degree manslaughter.

All the former officers would face the same maximum penalty of 40 years in prison if they're found guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder. A guilty verdict on aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter would expose them to a maximum of 10 years in prison, according to court documents in the case.

Kueng, Lane and Thao were fired along with Chauvin one day after Floyd died last Memorial Day. Soon afterward, prosecutors leveled criminal charges against the four.

At the time of Floyd's death, Chauvin was by far the most experienced officer of the group, with 19 years on the force. He also held the status of a field training officer.

Kueng, 27, and Lane, 38, were the first officers to respond to the Cup Foods store in southern Minneapolis after a report came in that someone had used a suspected counterfeit $20 bill to make a purchase. Thao, 35, then arrived with Chauvin.

A small crowd watched as the officers struggled to put Floyd into a police vehicle and then restrained him in the street, holding him facedown on the asphalt for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Video from the scene, with Floyd pleading for his life, set off outrage and months of protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

Police department under scrutiny

On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a federal investigation into "whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing."

The guilty verdict in Chauvin's case "does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis," Garland said.

The attorney general said the civil inquiry will review allegations of excessive force by Minneapolis police officers. The scope of the inquiry will also include police actions during the months of protests that followed Floyd's death.

"If the Justice Department concludes that there's reasonable cause to believe there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing, we will issue a public report of our conclusions," Garland said.

In addition to the new probe, the Justice Department is already conducting a civil rights investigation into Floyd's death.

Minneapolis police Chief Medaria Arradondo and other senior police officials testified against Chauvin during the former officer's trial, saying his actions went against departmental policies and training.

An image from a police body camera shows bystanders outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. The group includes Darnella Frazier, third from right, as she made a 10-minute recording of George Floyd's death. Minneapolis Police Department via AP hide caption

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Minneapolis Police Department via AP

An image from a police body camera shows bystanders outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. The group includes Darnella Frazier, third from right, as she made a 10-minute recording of George Floyd's death.

Minneapolis Police Department via AP

The Black teenager who recorded the now-infamous video of Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on George Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes last May is being hailed as a hero following the former Minneapolis police officer's conviction on murder and manslaughter charges.

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 at the time, testified during the trial that she has spent nights apologizing to Floyd for "not doing more." Now, people across the country — including Floyd's family, President Biden and numerous celebrities and elected officials — are crediting her bravery and quick thinking in capturing the video that they say made the guilty verdict possible.

After the jury convicted Chauvin of all three charges, Frazier shared a post on social media expressing her relief and thanking God. "Justice has been served," she added.

Frazier had been taking her 9-year-old cousin to Cup Foods last Memorial Day when she saw police officers holding Floyd on the asphalt near the rear of a police vehicle, a scene she described during her testimony as that of "a man terrified, scared, begging for his life."

She sent her cousin inside the store and began filming. The 10-minute video she posted to Facebook has since been seen by millions and became a central piece of evidence in Chauvin's trial.

"When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, my brothers, my cousins, my uncles, because they are all Black," Frazier said from the witness stand. "I look at how that could have been one of them."

The graphic video captured a scene drastically at odds with the initial police statement, which described the encounter as: "man dies after medical incident during police interaction." It said that Floyd physically resisted officers and made no mention of the prolonged restraint.

Many social media users and public figures are praising Frazier for taking the video, which they credit with disproving the police narrative and facilitating the trial's historic outcome.

Police officers are rarely convicted of murder for on-duty killings, and Chauvin is just the second such case in Minnesota's history.

In remarks delivered Tuesday, Biden also noted how rare such a verdict is and said Chauvin's conviction seems for many people to have been the result of "a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors" — including "a brave young woman with a smartphone camera."

Angela Harrelson, Floyd's aunt, lauded Frazier's bravery in a Wednesday interview with CNN.

"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."

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore wrote in a tweet that Frazier had changed the world, adding, "No film in our time has been more important than yours." Journalist Ann Marie Lipinski called it "one of the most important civil rights documents in a generation."

Some have called for Frazier to receive the Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism. Melvin Carter, the mayor of St. Paul, Minn., wrote, "What work of media has been more consequential in the past year?"

"She is a stellar example of how everyday people can be powerful in documenting injustice and creating momentum for accountability," tweeted Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Frazier has received one award already — from PEN America, the nonprofit organization focused on freedom of expression. The legendary producer, director and screenwriter Spike Lee presented Frazier with an award for courage at a virtual ceremony in December.

"She documented the murder of George Floyd, our brother. King Floyd. And that footage reverberated around this God's earth, and people took to the streets all over this Earth," Lee said. "Not just the United States of America, and it wasn't just Black people either."

At the ceremony, a slew of high-profile figures — including actors Gabrielle Union and Meryl Streep, civil rights activists DeRay Mckesson and Anita Hill, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. — offered their praise and thanks in a series of brief video clips.

"I never would imagine out of my whole 17 years of living that this will be me," Frazier said as she accepted the award. "It's just a lot to take in, but I couldn't say 'thank you' enough for everything that's been coming towards me."

In the wake of the trial, supporters of Frazier are expressing their gratitude as well as their hopes that she will continue to receive support.

Frazier testified that she felt like she was in danger at the time and that police were threatening bystanders with Mace as they called for officers to stop hurting Floyd and render medical attention.

Many have noted that the experience and resulting trauma will stay with her permanently.

Bernice King, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, posted a tweet wishing "emotional healing" for Frazier, while journalist Evette Dionne offered prayers for the safety of Frazier and other bystanders who "now have a city police department's bullseye on their back."

Others are sharing the link to an online fundraiser titled "Peace and Healing for Darnella Fund," which was created last May and has raised more than $630,000 as of midday Wednesday.

"In addition to the trauma of watching a black man be murdered by police, she has had to deal with trolls, bullies and ignorant people harassing her online," organizers wrote. "It took unbelievable courage for her to stand there and bear witness to such an awful tragedy. We all have our roles to play in the revolution against white supremacy. Darnella played an important one and should be uplifted, not shamed."

In an update on Tuesday, organizer Mica Cole Kamenski said that while the fundraiser had originally been established to support Frazier's immediate healing and well-being, contributors wanted to provide the financial resources to ensure her long-term safety and that proceeds from the fundraiser will be transferred to a trust in Frazier's name.

Kamenski added that "because of Darnella Frazier, we saw a glimpse of accountability today."

"The support I had since day one carried me a long way," Frazier wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. "So thank you all again, thank you."

DOJ To Investigate Minneapolis Police Over Possible Patterns Of Excessive Force

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Attorney General Merrick Garland announces a Justice Department probe of possible patterns of excessive force and discrimination by the Minneapolis Police Department on Wednesday. Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland announces a Justice Department probe of possible patterns of excessive force and discrimination by the Minneapolis Police Department on Wednesday.

Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

One day after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on murder charges, the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into possible patterns of discrimination and excessive force among the police department there.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the new civil inquiry on Wednesday, the first such "pattern or practice" investigation in the Biden administration, which has pledged to build trust between police and communities.

"Today, I am announcing that the Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing," Garland said in remarks at the Justice Department.

He said the investigation is separate from the previously announced federal criminal inquiry into George Floyd's death.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told NPR he sees the inquiry as "an opportunity to continue working towards that deep change and accountability that we know that we need in the Minneapolis Police Department, and so to the extent the DOJ can help with that we very much welcome."

"Yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis," Garland said.

He said the investigation will look at the use of excessive force, including during protests, and examine the Minneapolis Police Department's accountability systems.

"If the Justice Department concludes that there's reasonable cause to believe there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing, we will issue a public report of our conclusions," he said.

The investigation marks a return to increased federal oversight of errant police departments, with a tool the Trump administration used just once in four years to examine a small force in Massachusetts. By contrast, during the Obama years, the Justice Department conducted more than two dozen pattern or practice investigations.

Last week, Garland revoked a Trump-era memo that made it more difficult for the Justice Department's civil rights lawyers to reach consent decrees with state and local governments over policing practices and to seek court approval for independent monitors to check whether police departments were honoring the terms of settlements.

People gather at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of two murder charges and one manslaughter charge in the death of George Floyd. Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption

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Brandon Bell/Getty Images

People gather at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of two murder charges and one manslaughter charge in the death of George Floyd.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Scenes of joy and relief erupted across the country after a jury found Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.

The jury found Chauvin guilty on three charges in Floyd's death during an arrest last Memorial Day: second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Yet simultaneously in several cities, the celebratory mood was tempered by a sense that the verdict represented just a small degree of accountability in a greater fight against racial injustice and police violence.

Here's a glimpse at how people nationwide are processing Tuesday's verdict.

Minneapolis

In George Floyd Square — a memorial site dedicated to Floyd and the intersection where Chauvin pinned down the 46-year-old Black man for nearly 9 1/2 minutes — crowds burst into cheers as soon as the first guilty verdict was delivered.

By the announcement of the third count, B.J. Wilder, 39, had dropped to his knees, tears flowing down his face.

"It's a new day in America," he said. "Everybody saw it. But still you're sitting, thinking back to the Rodney King days — everybody saw that too — those cops got off."

"I was really worried, I was worried about my city. Thank God my city will not burn tonight," he said. "Finally, some little piece of justice."

Houston, Texas

Floyd grew up in Houston, where many of his family members still live.

Near a mural dedicated to Floyd in the city's Third Ward — where he lived with his mother and siblings — friends and community members were quietly celebratory, saying they were grateful for the verdict but still grieving that Floyd was murdered.

People gather inside a convenience store in the Houston neighborhood where George Floyd grew up to listen to the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin. David J. Phillip/AP hide caption

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David J. Phillip/AP

People gather inside a convenience store in the Houston neighborhood where George Floyd grew up to listen to the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin.

David J. Phillip/AP

Larry Masters, 60, said he had doubted the jury would return a guilty verdict.

"It's a blessing," he told Houston Public Media. "Justice was served today. Because this is a long time coming. They've been doing this for years and years and years. From generation to generation. We've been screwed over, we've been mistreated. I mean, they just been getting away with crime."

Growing up, 46-year-old Kim Hewitt said, she knew Floyd. The verdict alone wasn't enough to make her rest easy — she wants the criminal justice system to treat Chauvin the same way she feels that it has treated the Black community.

"I'm not happy until I get [Chauvin's prison time], and they put him in the population and they treat him like a criminal — like they look at us in the community as criminals," she told the station.

Following what she called an emotional year, Hewitt said she hoped that Houston can come together to focus on the issue of police violence.

Philadelphia

Amid nationwide calls for police reform, Danielle Outlaw, commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, says she's focusing on the work ahead.

After Floyd's death, her department adopted a number of measures to improve police accountability and to prevent potential instances of excessive use of force.

"As a law enforcement official, I find the behavior that took George Floyd's life abhorrent," she said in a statement. "Although a verdict was reached today, I ask for calm. I ask for peace. Let us use this time to reflect on our justice system, what reforms have taken place, and the work still left to do."

Virginia Beach, Va.

Gary McCollum, a local minister in Virginia Beach, said he's afraid that Chauvin's actions will be portrayed as those of "one bad apple" in the criminal justice system rather than a systemic problem.

"Chauvin was not one bad apple," he said. "You have a system that preys on marginalized communities and African Americans and the only reason that he was convicted [is] that it was live and people saw it all over the world."

McCollum said it's time to "reimagine policing," for example, by using technology similar to speed cameras to replace traffic stops.

James Allen, 68, another Black activist and president of Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference, said he had no doubt that Chauvin would be found guilty.

"You know why? Because we watched a man get murdered live and in living color on national TV. That's the difference. All of a sudden now, all of my white friends who used to say, 'James, you're being paranoid,' they can't say that anymore."

Washington, D.C.

Rodney Johnson, 65, a Navy veteran, had been glued to the TV coverage over the course of the three-week trial before heading out to Black Lives Matter Plaza following the verdict. He's not confident that one guilty verdict will change much when it comes to the problem of police brutality. Police have to police themselves, he said.

"People think this racial injustice thing is going to go away — it's not. Until everybody, everybody, learns to love each other."

Nearby, Sheila Kyarisiima, who joined the crowds with her 2-year-old son, called the outcome "a glimmer of hope."

"But it also just shows that there's so much more work to be done," she said. "What happens when there's no camera, right?"

NPR's Sarah McCammon, David Schaper and Tom Bowman contributed to this report.

The Revs. Jesse Jackson (left) and Al Sharpton (center) and attorney Ben Crump during a press conference Tuesday following the verdict in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

The Revs. Jesse Jackson (left) and Al Sharpton (center) and attorney Ben Crump during a press conference Tuesday following the verdict in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.

Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

As media outlets scrambled to cover the aftermath of the guilty verdict in the murder and manslaughter trial of Derek Chauvin, the differences in coverage on some cable TV outlets seemed as divided as the country's politics.

The contrast was clear Tuesday afternoon when advocates such as the Rev. Al Sharpton and attorney Ben Crump, Black men who represented George Floyd's family, faced cameras to give their thoughts on the jury's verdict. CNN, MSNBC and CNBC carried much of their remarks live, including a prayer from Sharpton and statements from Crump noting that other cases of unarmed Black men killed by police officers still remained to be decided.

But conservative-oriented Newsmax and Fox News Channel offered scant coverage of Sharpton's prayer before moving on to discussions featuring white pundits and legal scholars critical of the proceedings.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joins members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill to await the verdict in Chauvin's trial Tuesday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joins members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill to await the verdict in Chauvin's trial Tuesday.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Given the world had anticipated this moment for almost a year, it was a curious decision – to cut away from members of Floyd's family and their advocates. On Newsmax, attorney Alan Dershowitz maintained Chauvin's guilty verdict should be reversed on appeal because statements from prominent protesters such as Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters unfairly pressured the jury. "The whole judicial system has been corrupted by identity politics," Dershowitz said.

Fox News featured two experts, Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Turley; McCarthy, a former assistant U.S. attorney in New York, criticized the judge presiding over Chauvin's trial for not sequestering jurors before deliberations began, questioning if they could have been influenced by coverage of protests. Fox News, in particular, veered between commentary supporting the guilty verdict and questioning it – once, from the same person. Pundit Greg Gutfeld suggested the trial actually united the country because the infamous video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck was so conclusive. (He must have missed fellow Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson's past assertions that Floyd died of a drug overdose.)

But then Gutfeld added he was glad Chauvin was found guilty, "even if he might not be guilty on all charges ... because I want a verdict that keeps this country from going up in flames." Gutfeld's remarks drew rebukes from other pundits around him, but they also illustrated the tension at Fox News between commentary supporting the verdict as evidence of a criminal justice system that works and the impulse to undermine a verdict that liberals support.

Other news outlets offered more conventional coverage, with CNN featuring pundit Van Jones noting that Floyd's death ignited a worldwide concern about police brutality that will continue beyond this verdict. On ABC News, senior national correspondent Steve Osunsami urged viewers not to mistake the emotion people were showing in the streets during their coverage for celebration. "It's not about victory; it's about relief," he added. "Because, to many people in America, what this jury told them, is Black lives do matter."

President Biden makes remarks Tuesday at the White House in response to the guilty verdict in Chauvin's murder trial. Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

President Biden makes remarks Tuesday at the White House in response to the guilty verdict in Chauvin's murder trial.

Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

Those sentiments were echoed by President Biden when he addressed the nation later Tuesday evening, delivering a speech carried live by several networks and cable channels. "The guilty verdict does not bring back George," said Biden, with Vice President Harris standing nearby. "But through the family's pain, they're finding purpose, so George's legacy will not just be about his death, but what we must do in his memory."

Philonise Floyd (left) and attorney Ben Crump react after a guilty verdict was announced at the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of Floyd's brother George Floyd Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

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Philonise Floyd (left) and attorney Ben Crump react after a guilty verdict was announced at the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of Floyd's brother George Floyd

Julio Cortez/AP

Philonise Floyd, who sat in the courtroom for much of the trial, said Tuesday he finally feels some relief, now that former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

"I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity for hopefully getting some sleep," he told a crowd of cheering supporters.

Floyd, who is George Floyd's younger brother and testified in the trial, said there have been "a lot of days that I prayed and I hoped and I was speaking everything into existence," praying that Chauvin would be convicted for murdering his brother on a street in Minneapolis.

Through tears he evoked the memory of Emmett Till, a Black 14-year-old boy who was lynched by a group of white men in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of offending a white woman in a grocery store.

"He was the first George Floyd," Philonise Floyd said, crying. "People forgot about him."

But where Till was robbed of the opportunity to have his attackers immediately revealed, Floyd continued, the ubiquity of cell phone cameras made it possible to show the world what happened to his brother.

"It was a motion picture," Floyd said. "The world saw his life being extinguished and I could do nothing but watch."

It was an especially painful experience in the courtroom, where multiple videos captured the elder Floyd's cries for his mother and children, and his last gasps for breath were repeatedly played as evidence in the trial.

"Over and over and over again, as my brother was murdered," and he had to watch, he said.

Despite the solace the family is taking in the verdict, Floyd said the struggle for justice and equality for people of color in the U.S. remains an uphill battle. "We have to march. We will have to do this for life. We have to protest because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle," he said.

He noted the recent killing of Daunte Wright just 10 miles from the courthouse where the Chauvin trial was held. Wright, a biracial Black man was killed just nine days ago after a local police officer said she mistook her Taser for her service weapon during a traffic stop and shot Wright at point-blank range.

"He should still be here," Floyd said, referring to Wright.

Terence Floyd: 'What a day to be a Floyd!'

Terrence Floyd, another of George Floyd's younger brothers who is a school bus driver from New York, said the public's support has helped him get through the horrible ordeal.

Flanked by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Crump, one of the family's attorneys, he said, "History is here. This is monumental."

Fighting back tears, he said, "I believe because of prayer, we got the verdict we wanted. We said God, we need justice. We need it now. And he answered."

Pointing to the sky Floyd said he will salute his brother every day of his life "because he showed me how to be strong. He showed me how to be respectful. He showed be how to speak my mind."

He added: "I'm gong to miss him but now I know he will be in history. What a day to be a Floyd!"

Rodney Floyd: 'This is for everyone who has been held down and pinned down'

Rodney Floyd, the youngest of the brothers called the decision by the jurors "a victory for all of us."

"There is no color barrier on this," he said to rounds of applause and cheers. "This is for everyone who has been held down and pinned down."

During his brief remarks, Floyd said he imagines his dead brother smiling down, pleased with the verdict and the fact that his daughter Gianna was there to witness it.

He thanked the jury for coming to a swift decision in what he called "an open and shut case," and he also urged the public to keep pressure on the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama arrive at President Biden's inauguration. Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama arrive at President Biden's inauguration.

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Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama say a Minneapolis jury "did the right thing" in convicting former police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd.

Though they said that justice was done in this case, the nation's first Black president and his wife said in a statement, "we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial."

They added:

"True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognize that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last. And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.

"While today's verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest. We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized."

The jury found Chauvin guilty on all three charges — second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — for Floyd's killing during an arrest last year.

President Biden spoke with Floyd's family shortly after the verdict Tuesday.

In video of the phone call shared by the Floyd family's attorney, Ben Crump, Biden is heard saying, "Nothing is gonna make it all better but at least, God, now there's some justice."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, here in September, praised the witnesses and jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial on Tuesday. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images hide caption

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, here in September, praised the witnesses and jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial on Tuesday.

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minutes after the three guilty verdicts against former officer Derek Chauvin were read aloud in court Tuesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison thanked the public, saying he was grateful to have been given the space to pursue justice "wherever it led."

He said the guilty verdicts against Chauvin for killing George Floyd last May were the culmination of "long, hard, painstaking work." But he said Tuesday's outcome, after three weeks of testimony, should not be called justice.

"I would not call today's verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration," Ellison said. "But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice, and now the cause of justice is in your hands."

He noted all of the people in Floyd's life who loved the 46-year-old Black man and will always feel his absence in their lives, saying, "George Floyd mattered." But beyond mattering to only those who knew him, Ellison said, Floyd mattered "because he was a human being."

The people who witnessed Floyd's slow and painful murder on the streets of Minneapolis, and stopped to plead for his life and try put a stop to the killing, recognized the man's humanity without knowing anything about him, Ellison said. Borrowing a phrase from prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell, Ellison called the bystanders who stood as witnesses and documented the tragic arrest last May 25 a "bouquet of humanity."

"They stopped and raised their voices, and they even challenged authority because they saw his humanity. They stopped and they raised their voices because they knew that what they were seeing was wrong. ... And they were right."

The same group, most of whom testified against Chauvin, "performed simple yet profound acts of courage," he said. "They told the truth and they told the whole world the truth about what they saw."

He continued: "We owe them our gratitude for fulfilling their civic duty and for their courage in telling the truth."

Ellison acknowledged the millions of protesters who raised their voices against police brutality and injustice after Floyd's murder.

"His death shocked the conscience of our community, our country, the whole world," Ellison said.

But he urged protesters to honor Floyd's legacy "calmly, legally and peacefully."

"I urge everyone to continue the journey to transformation and justice."

Ellison addressed the Floyd family who he said had to relive the trauma and pain over and over again. "They have shown the world what grace and class and courage really look like."

"Although a verdict alone cannot end their pain, I hope it's another step in a long path toward healing for them. There is no replacing your beloved Perry, or 'Floyd,' as his friends called him. But he is the one who sparked a worldwide movement, and that's important."

Speaking of the jurors who were quick to find Chauvin guilty of all the charges against him, Ellison said, "They answered the call, and they served in a landmark trial."

A sign at a June 2020 protest against racial injustice and police violence in Seattle bears the names of people killed by police. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP

A sign at a June 2020 protest against racial injustice and police violence in Seattle bears the names of people killed by police.

Ted S. Warren/AP

After only about 10 hours of deliberation, a jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd — an outcome Floyd's civil legal team called "painfully earned justice" in a statement released after the verdict was announced.

The trial's outcome was highly anticipated and the guilty verdict not necessarily guaranteed: While Floyd's killing ignited a wave of protests against racism and police brutality nationwide and around the world, convictions of police officers over on-duty shootings are rare.

In fact, Chauvin is believed to be just the second officer to be convicted in an on-duty death case in Minnesota's history.

Between 2005 and Floyd's murder last year, only five non-federal law enforcement officers were convicted of murder in an on-duty shooting and not had the conviction later overturned, according to Philip Stinson at The Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

And it's impossible to ignore the role that race plays in such events, with many of these shootings involving white officers and Black victims. In fact, an NPR investigation published this year revealed that police officers have fatally shot at least 135 Black men and women across the country since 2015, with at least 75% of the officers identifying as white.

As the country begins to process the verdict, many advocates are noting that Floyd's case is one of many, and are calling for systemic changes in policing and criminal justice.

Here's a look at the outcomes of several high-profile cases in recent years.

Eric Garner: In July 2014, New York City Police officers approached Garner out of suspicion that he was selling untaxed cigarettes on the sidewalk outside a convenience store in Staten Island. Former officer Daniel Pantaleo applied a chokehold — which was prohibited by department policy — and Garner later died in a hospital. A grand jury in New York City declined to criminally indict Pantaleo in 2014, and the U.S. Department of Justice announced in 2019 it would not bring criminal charges in a federal criminal civil rights violation, citing insufficient evidence. Pantaleo was fired from the NYPD the following month.

Michael Brown: Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the middle of the street in August 2014, in an incident that sparked nationwide protests over perceived racial bias in policing and helped launch the Black Lives Matter movement. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson that year, and the U.S. Department of Justice did not bring criminal charges against him in 2015 but found in a review that Ferguson's police department engaged in a "pattern of unconstitutional policing." The prosecutor for St. Louis County reopened the case but announced last year that his office would not bring charges against Wilson, citing a lack of concrete evidence.

Laquan McDonald: Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder in the October 2014 shooting death of McDonald, a Black teenager. The jury also found him guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, and acquitted him on one count of official misconduct. It took the jury about eight hours to reach a verdict in the 2018 trial, marking the first time in decades that a Chicago police officer was convicted of murder for an on-duty death.

Walter Scott: In April 2015, Michael Slager — then a police officer in North Charleston, S.C. — pulled over Scott, a Black man, because of a broken brake light on his Mercedes-Benz. Scott ran from his vehicle and Slager gave chase; after a scuffle, Slager shot Scott as he was running away, hitting him five times in the back. A bystander captured a video of the incident, which quickly went viral. A state murder trial ended in a hung jury, then Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation for using excessive force as part of a plea agreement. In 2017, a judge found him guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice, and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

Samuel DuBose: Ray Tensing, a white University of Cincinnati police officer, killed DuBose during a traffic stop in July 2015. He had pulled DuBose over for missing a front license plate, and later said he shot him because he was being dragged by DuBose's car — body camera video showed the car slowly rolling off as Tensing questioned DuBose, before the officer shot the Black man in the head. Tensing's first trial, in 2016, ended with the jury unable to reach a unanimous verdict on murder and manslaughter charges. A second trial in 2017 also ended with a deadlocked jury and was declared a mistrial.

Sandra Bland: Bland was arrested after being pulled over by police in Waller County, Texas, in July 2015 for failing to signal a lane change and was found hanged in her cell in county jail three days later. A Texas grand jury declined to indict any officers in connection with her death. Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who pulled her over, was accused of lying about how he removed Bland from her car and was indicted on a criminal charge of perjury. The charge was later dropped after Encinia agreed to end his career in law enforcement.

Philando Castile: Castile was fatally shot by officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb in July 2016, after being pulled over for a broken tail light. Castile disclosed that he was legally carrying a gun, and Yanez shot him seven times, reportedly out of fear that he was reaching for it. A video of Castile bleeding to death, filmed by his girlfriend and streamed to Facebook Live, was seen by millions. Yanez was tried on charges of second-degree manslaughter and endangering safety by discharging a firearm, and a jury acquitted him after 27 hours of deliberation spread out over five days.

Terence Crutcher: Crutcher, who was Black, was killed in September 2016 by police officer Betty Jo Shelby after she stopped his SUV in the middle of a two-lane road in Tulsa, Okla. The incident was captured on dashboard cameras as well as a police helicopter camera. Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter and acquitted by a jury after several hours of deliberation in 2017.

Justine Ruszczyk: The only known Minnesota police officer to be convicted of murder in an on-duty incident is Mohamed Noor. The former Minneapolis police officer, who is Somali American, shot Ruszczyk, a white woman, as she approached his squad car after calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home in 2017. A jury found him guilty of third-degree murder and manslaughter, and not guilty of intentional second-degree murder, in 2019. He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.

Daniel Prude: Prude, a Black man, died of asphyxiation last March after being restrained by Rochester, N.Y., police while he was in the midst of a mental health crisis. Police body camera footage of his arrest — showing him handcuffed and pinned to the snow-slicked ground, with a mesh hood over his head — was released in September, igniting days of protests and accusations of a cover-up by city officials. A New York grand jury voted in February 2021 not to file charges against any of the officers involved, and Prude's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and at least six police officers last month.

Breonna Taylor: The 26-year-old Black woman was fatally shot in her apartment last March by Louisville, Ky., police officers during a botched narcotics raid, of which she was not the target. A Kentucky grand jury indicted one of the Louisville Metro Police Department officers, Brett Hankison, over charges of wanton endangerment for firing into neighboring apartments. Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the other two officers involved, did not face charges. Hankison, Mattingly and Detective Joshua Jaynes — who secured the warrant for the raid — have since been fired.

President Biden delivers remarks Tuesday on the guilty verdict against former police officer Derek Chauvin, as Vice President Harris looks on. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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President Biden delivers remarks Tuesday on the guilty verdict against former police officer Derek Chauvin, as Vice President Harris looks on.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin "can be a moment of significant change" for the United States as it grapples with systemic racism.

Biden and Vice President Harris addressed the nation on Tuesday, after Chauvin was found guilty of murder for the death of George Floyd during an arrest last year.

"It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see [systemic racism]," Biden said from the White House, calling American racism "a stain on our nation's soul."

The jury, on its second day of deliberations, found Chauvin guilty on all three charges: second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Biden said the verdict is "a step forwards," and that such a verdict in a case of police violence is "also much too rare."

Biden urged Americans to confront the issues raised by Floyd's murder.

"'I can't breathe.' We can't let those words die with him. We must not turn away, we can't turn away," he said.

The president watched the verdict with Harris and staff in the private dining room, according to the White House.

Afterward, he spoke with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, whom Biden said thanked him for his collaboration through the trial. Biden, Harris and first lady Jill Biden also spoke with Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother, from the Oval Office.

In video of the phone call shared by the Floyd family's attorney, Ben Crump, Biden is heard saying, "Nothing is gonna make it all better but at least, God, now there's some justice."

"We're going to get a lot more done," Biden pledged. He referenced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress and added, "that and a lot more."

Harris told the family, "This is a day of justice in America," adding, "We really do believe that with your leadership and the president that we have in the White House that we're going to make something good come out of this tragedy, OK?"

Floyd died last Memorial Day after Chauvin, then an officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, knelt on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd lay facedown, crying for help with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Biden — who won the 2020 presidential election in part on promises to help heal the inequities plaguing racial minorities, including issues of police bias — has thus far done little to address police violence. His team has instead pointed reporters to his support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which has passed the House of Representatives but has a tougher fight in the Senate, rather than executive actions.

Harris, in her remarks following the guilty verdict, boosted the legislation as part of Floyd's legacy. Harris vowed that the bill, which she helped author, would "hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities."

Harris, who is the first woman of color to serve as vice president, acknowledged the longstanding inequalities of the criminal justice system, but said Chauvin's guilty verdict was a step in the right direction.

"A measure of justice isn't the same as equal justice," she said. "This verdict brings us a step closer. And the fact is we still have work to do. We still must reform the system."

NPR's Dana Farrington and Roberta Rampton contributed reporting.

People gather outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday before the jury's decision returning guilty verdicts against former police officer Derek Chauvin. Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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People gather outside the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday before the jury's decision returning guilty verdicts against former police officer Derek Chauvin.

Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, was in the courtroom Tuesday afternoon when Judge Peter Cahill read the three guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

As the first guilty verdict was read aloud, Philonise Floyd's clasped hands began shaking, according to a reporter inside the courtroom. They continued to tremble as Cahill recited the second guilty verdict. By the third time, Floyd's hands were shaking back, and he was nodding his head up and down with his eyes closed, and then he began weeping.

"I was just praying they would find him guilty," Floyd told reporters after exiting the courtroom.

"As an African American, we usually never get justice," he said.

Many of George Floyd's relatives, who traveled to Minneapolis from Texas, took turns sitting in a chair reserved for them in the courtroom over the three weeks of testimony.

Crowds erupted in celebration in front of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts. Carlos Barria/Reuters hide caption

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Crowds erupted in celebration in front of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts.

Carlos Barria/Reuters

Cheers erupted from the large crowds gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center on Tuesday after the jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the death of George Floyd.

Guilty on all counts: unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

"George Floyd! Justice!"

The crowd spilled into the streets near the courthouse, with cars honking and demonstrators chanting and waving Black Lives Matter flags.

The "vibe was upbeat," wrote one reporter at the scene. It's a "celebratory atmosphere," a "party in the street," with people grilling burgers, said another. An overall "collective breath."

Downtown Minneapolis was the scene of "absolute jubilation," wrote Liz Sawyer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Car horns blaring for the last 10 minutes. Fists raised outside car windows. Flags [waving]. Chants of 'All three! All three!' "

"You can never fully get justice losing a loved one, but they're vindicated because his death was not in vain," Kim Griffin, 59, told Sawyer. "I'm happy for the [Floyd] family and I'm happy for the city. Even though we still have other trials to come, I think our city can start healing."

"This is our Super Bowl," said Jeff Compton, as he fought back tears.

People celebrate after hearing the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, now known as George Floyd Square. Brandon Bell/Getty Images hide caption

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Brandon Bell/Getty Images

People celebrate after hearing the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, now known as George Floyd Square.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Crowds also gathered 4 miles away at George Floyd Square, the renamed intersection in front of Cup Foods, where Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

People held up speakers, blasting live coverage of the trial to those around. Claps and cheers went out when the guilty verdict came in.

"I felt a yearlong weight lifted off my chest and shoulders," 19-year-old Ebony Moore told NPR. "It was overwhelming. I can't describe how I felt. The jurors did what they were supposed to do."

Moore said the community can now "really start to do some healing. ... This is a really big win for us, but we still have a long way to go."

NPR's David Schaper and Leila Fadel and Minnesota Public Radio's Matt Sepic, Tim Nelson and Brandt Williams contributed reporting.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, here during a news conference Thursday, brought a motion to censure Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., over comments she made at a protest last weekend. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, here during a news conference Thursday, brought a motion to censure Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., over comments she made at a protest last weekend.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

By a vote of 216-210, House Democrats defeated a resolution Tuesday brought by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to censure Rep. Maxine Waters over comments that protesters should "get more confrontational" if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin were to be acquitted in his trial over the killing of George Floyd.

The party-line vote came ahead of the jury determining Chauvin is guilty on all counts.

Waters was in Brooklyn Center, Minn., over the weekend at a protest over the killing of another Black man at the hands of police: 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

"We've got to stay on the street and we've got to get more active. We've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know we mean business," Waters, a California Democrat, said when asked what the public should do if Chauvin isn't found guilty.

Many Republicans, including McCarthy, swiftly condemned Waters' comments, claiming she was inciting violence. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Waters, telling reporters Monday that the congresswoman has nothing for which to apologize.

"Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the civil rights movement," she said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., spoke on the House floor in defense of Waters ahead of the resolution's introduction, calling it a "gotcha partisan vote."

"I urge all of my colleagues to pick up their dictionary, turn to the 'Cs', and look up 'confront.' Confront is to face the facts. Confront is to face the truth. Confront is to face the challenges that we have. And that is what Ms. Waters urged," Hoyer said. "Confront is not violence."

He added: "[Her] remarks reflect the very profound anger, sense of hopelessness that she and so many others, myself included, feel when we see African Americans being killed during encounters with our law enforcement, and their families not seeing justice."

Chauvin's defense team tried to use Waters' comments as grounds for a mistrial, but Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion, reasoning her rhetoric couldn't prejudice the jury. However, he added: "I'll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned."

Waters defended her comments Monday, saying Republicans were twisting her words.

"I am nonviolent," she told The Grio. "I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that's going on. I'm talking about speaking up."

A protester holds a sign across the street from the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on April 6 during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The testimony ran for three weeks. Jim Mone/AP hide caption

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Jim Mone/AP

A protester holds a sign across the street from the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on April 6 during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The testimony ran for three weeks.

Jim Mone/AP

After three weeks of testimony that included dozens of witnesses and hours of video footage, the high-profile trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd has come to a close. The jury has returned guilty verdicts on all counts.

Chauvin faced charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter over kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes last May — in a gruesome scene captured on video that has since been viewed millions of times and ignited a wave of protests across the country and around the world.

Using expert witnesses from law enforcement and medicine, the prosecution argued that Chauvin's restraint amounted to unreasonable, excessive force and that Floyd died of a resulting lack of oxygen. Defense attorney Eric Nelson said Chauvin followed his training, and questioned whether Floyd's heart condition and drugs in his system played a role in his death, telling the jury that reasonable doubt was grounds for acquittal.

Viewed by many as a referendum on police accountability and America's criminal justice system, the case comes amid heightened tensions following the recent police killings of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb and Adam Toledo in Chicago.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill advised jury members last week, as to how long they would be sequestered, to "plan for long and hope for short." They reached a verdict around midday Tuesday, the first full day of deliberations.

Here are some of the key moments in the trial. You can find our ongoing coverage here:

Witnesses describe painful scene, lasting impact

Individuals who were outside Cup Foods at various points during Floyd's arrest last Memorial Day recalled the scene and its lasting impact on their lives, with many describing feelings of helplessness and guilt.

Christopher Martin, a former store clerk who accepted a counterfeit $20 bill from Floyd in a transaction that precipitated his death, said he immediately suspected the bill was fake and offered to pay for Floyd's cigarettes himself. Floyd's demeanor was friendly and approachable, he said, noting he also appeared to be high.

Martin went outside twice to Floyd's parked SUV to ask him to come back inside and talk to his manager, at which point the manager told another store employee to call the police. Martin said in court he felt guilt and disbelief as he later watched Floyd being placed on a gurney.

"If I would have just not took the bill, this could have been avoided," he said.

Darnella Frazier, the young woman who recorded the now-infamous video showing Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd's neck, described the scene as that of "a man terrified, scared, begging for his life."

"It seemed like he knew ... it was over for him," she said of Floyd, adding that the dozen or so bystanders watching from the sidewalk all seemed to agree what they were seeing was not right. Many yelled out to police to stop hurting Floyd and check his pulse, she recalled.

Frazier said under further questioning that she has mourned Floyd's death in the weeks and months since, and worried that her male relatives, who are Black, could be similarly mistreated by police.

Nelson, the defense attorney, noted that the video went viral and asked, "It changed your life?" "It has," Frazier replied.

In emotional testimony, several other witnesses described feeling powerless as Chauvin continued to restrain Floyd, even as they called on Chauvin to stop and for officers to render medical assistance. The three other officers at the scene have since been fired and face charges of aiding and abetting murder.

Genevieve Hansen, a firefighter and emergency medical technician, said she was on an off-duty walk when she came upon the scene. She identified herself as a first responder and demanded that officers check Floyd's pulse, as heard on video played in court.

Hansen said the officers blocked her from providing medical care, and she described feeling "totally distressed." She said her voice grew louder and her tone angrier as the minutes passed.

"Because I was desperate to help ... because there was a man being killed and ... had I had access to a call similar to that, I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities," she said. "And this human was denied that."

Hansen called 911 moments after Floyd was loaded into an ambulance to report what she had seen. Another bystander, Donald Williams, did the same, telling the court he "felt the need to call the police on the police" because he believed he had witnessed a murder.

As video played in court of Floyd calling for his mom and saying he couldn't breathe, Charles McMillian broke down and explained he had felt "helpless." He had previously encouraged Floyd to cooperate with officers and get in their car, telling the court he was trying to help make the situation easier.

Despite cries from McMillian and others that Floyd couldn't breathe, he said the officers did not provide medical attention at any point, and that Chauvin did not lift his knee until the ambulance arrived.

"When the paramedics arrived for Mr. Floyd, I knew then in my mind and in my instinct, it was over for Mr. Floyd. That he was dead," McMillian said.

Floyd remembered by his loved ones

Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, and brother, Philonise Floyd, testified on separate days about the life he lived before it was cut short last May 25.

Floyd was a "mama's boy" who was hit particularly hard by his mother's death in 2018, both said.

Philonise Floyd remembered his older brother as a "leader in our household" who always helped his siblings get ready for school in the mornings, an excellent athlete who played college basketball and football, and a beloved community figure who "just knew how to make people feel better."

Ross spoke fondly about her relationship with Floyd, tearfully recalling how they met in August 2017: She had been waiting for her son's father in the lobby of the Salvation Army's Harbor Light shelter in Minneapolis when a deep voice asked her if she was OK. She replied she was not, at which point Floyd — who was working there as a security guard at the time — asked, "Well, can I pray with you?"

The two saw each other nearly every day for the next three years, Ross said, and especially loved to go for walks and eat at restaurants.

"It was fun, it was an adventure, always, with him," she said.

Ross described Floyd as a "very active" person who loved sports and lifted weights daily. She said he lost his job as a security guard at a nightclub and bistro due to the coronavirus pandemic, and had been living in an apartment with two roommates at the time of his death.

Ross also shared that the two struggled with opioid addiction and that drug use was a part of their relationship.

They both had gotten prescriptions for chronic pain — in Floyd's case, for his back. Ross said the two quit using drugs for a "long period" in early 2020, but she suspected he had started using opioids again by that May.

Questions about Floyd's health and substance use have been central to the trial.

While the Hennepin County medical examiner ruled Floyd's death a homicide — saying his heart and lungs stopped functioning "while being restrained" by police — he also noted other "significant conditions," including heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.

Medical experts examine cause of death

Both sides called on medical experts to make their case about the cause of Floyd's death, with the prosecution arguing he died because of Chauvin's restraint and the defense maintaining other factors were involved.

Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner, discussed the autopsy report he had completed, which attributes Floyd's death to "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

Baker explained Floyd had hypertensive heart disease, "which means that his heart weighed more than it should."

"So he has a heart that already needs more oxygen than a normal heart, by virtue of its size," Baker said. "And it's limited in its ability to step up to provide more oxygen when there's demand, because of the narrowing of his coronary arteries."

He described the restraint and neck compression as "just more than Mr. Floyd could take, by virtue of those heart conditions."

Baker acknowledged that fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in Floyd's system but described them as factors in the death rather than direct causes.

"Mr. Floyd's use of fentanyl did not cause the subdual or neck restraint; his heart disease did not cause the subdual or the neck restraint," Baker said.

His testimony countered the argument made by the defense, which blamed Floyd's death on his heart condition or a possible drug overdose.

Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, had previously theorized that Floyd put drugs in his mouth to conceal them when the police approached, citing officer-worn body camera footage in which Floyd appeared to say, "I ate too many drugs." In fact, upon listening to a longer version of the clip, a special agent with Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said he believed Floyd was really saying, "I ain't do no drugs."

Pulmonary specialist Dr. Martin Tobin testified for the prosecution that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen, rather than preexisting health conditions or fentanyl use. He noted Floyd's normal breathing rate and said it would have been much slower had he been under the effects of fentanyl.

The lack of oxygen caused by Chauvin's restraint caused brain damage within five minutes, Tobin said.

"A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died," he added.

A medical witness later testifying for the defense disputed those conclusions. Dr. David Fowler, a retired forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, said he believed the manner of Floyd's death should be classified as "undetermined."

He said Floyd had suffered a sudden cardiac event and suggested a number of contributing factors, including heart disease, drug use and potential exposure to carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust.

"There are multiple entities all acting together and adding to each other, and taking away from a different part, of the ability to get oxygen to his heart," Fowler testified. "And so at some point the heart exhausted its reserves of metabolic supply and went into an arrhythmia and then stopped pumping blood effectively."

Under cross-examination, however, Fowler testified that while Floyd appeared to lose consciousness after the cardiac arrest — some four to five minutes into the restraint — immediate medical attention might have revived him.

Police experts on use of force

Notably, several current and former members of the Minneapolis Police Department took to the stand to testify against one of their own.

Minneapolis police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he believed Chauvin violated department policies on de-escalation, use of force and rendering aid, and noted that video footage did not show Floyd was aggressive or resisting, either actively or passively.

"There is an initial reasonableness in trying to get him under control in the first few seconds," Arradondo said, "but once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back – that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy, is not part of our training and is certainly not part of our ethics or our values."

Testifying for the prosecution, officers who have both led and received departmental training described Chauvin's use of force as excessive.

The officer with the most seniority in the department, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, said he had never been trained to put his knee on someone's neck, adding that doing so could kill someone.

Inspector Katie Blackwell, who commands the Minneapolis Police Department's 5th Precinct and previously ran the department's police training, was among those who said that Chauvin's technique was not one officers are taught.

Their instruction involves using one or two arms to do a neck restraint, Blackwell said, adding of Chauvin's maneuver, "I don't know what kind of improvised position that is." She added that officers are taught to put a person on their side as soon as the situation is under control.

Testimony on both sides also came from use-of-force experts outside the department.

Los Angeles police Sgt. Jody Stiger, appearing as a paid expert, told the court he believed the force was excessive. He cited the "objective reasonableness" legal standard for the use of force and said he had weighed the officers' actions against the severity of the crime and the suspect's behavior.

Testifying for the defense, former police officer Barry Brodd countered that the actions of Chauvin and the officers were justified.

Brodd said he believed Chauvin was "acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement."

He also said holding Floyd facedown on the ground was the safest position for the officers and the suspect, adding that holding a person in that position is "a control technique" and not a use of force.

But under questioning by the prosecution, Brodd appeared to walk back several points.

When presented with a photo of Floyd's face contorted under Chauvin's restraint, Brodd conceded it could be considered a use of force. When pressed, he contradicted earlier comments to admit he had long known about the dangers of positional asphyxia when a person is restrained in the prone position, and said that can be avoided by laying the person on their side in a fetal position.

NPR has reported on one particularly memorable exchange between Brodd and prosecutor Steve Schleicher:

When shown a different image of Floyd facedown with both his hands in cuffs behind his back, with Chauvin and the others on the full length of his body, Brodd said a compliant person would have their hands in the small of their back rather than "moving around" and could have been "resting comfortably." Instead, he said, Floyd continued to resist arrest.

"Did you say resting comfortably?" Schleicher asked incredulously.

"Or laying comfortably," Brodd said.

"So attempting to breathe while restrained is being slightly noncompliant?"

"No," Brodd said.

Chauvin declines to testify; judge threatens to call mistrial

Thursday, the final day of testimony, saw Chauvin invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify in his defense.

It also saw Cahill forbid prosecutors from introducing additional evidence related to carbon monoxide levels in Floyd's blood.

Nelson, the defense attorney, said he told the prosecution in a February memo that he would raise the subject of carbon monoxide. Baker, the medical examiner, found that the county had those records but had not previously submitted them along with Floyd's lab results.

The judge said he would not allow the prosecution to discuss those test results in rebuttal testimony at the end of the trial.

"If he even hints that there are test results that the jury has not heard about, it's going to be a mistrial," he said of Tobin, who had returned to provide further context about Floyd's oxygen levels.

In closing arguments delivered Monday, lawyers on both sides left jurors with competing calls to action.

Prosecutor Schleicher said Chauvin directly caused Floyd's death and urged the jury to "use your common sense."

"Believe your eyes," he said. "What you saw, you saw."

Nelson, the defense attorney, began his closing argument by emphasizing the presumption of innocence and the state's burden of proving Chauvin's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He sought to persuade jurors that the prosecution had failed to meet this burden.

"Compare the evidence against itself. Test it, challenge it," Nelson said, adding that if the state is "missing any one single element, it is a not guilty verdict."

The jury was sequestered for deliberations beginning Monday.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, looks on after the verdicts were read on Tuesday at Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd. Court TV/AP hide caption

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Court TV/AP

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, looks on after the verdicts were read on Tuesday at Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd.

Court TV/AP

The jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all the counts he faced over the death of George Floyd. The trial has been one of the most closely watched cases in recent memory, setting off a national reckoning on police violence and systemic racism even before the trial commenced.

Chauvin, 45, has been found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

With only his eyes visible as the rest of his face was hidden behind a surgical mask, Chauvin watched as the verdict was returned. Judge Peter Cahill thanked the jury members for their "heavy-duty jury service." Chauvin was remanded into custody as the jury was dismissed, and Cahill said sentencing is expected in eight weeks.

State sentencing guidelines recommend 12.5 years in prison for a conviction on unintentional second-degree murder for someone with no criminal history. But prosecutors could seek a sentence up to the maximum of 40 years on that count if Cahill determines there were aggravating factors.

A deputy handcuffed Chauvin and escorted him to a side room.

George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, hugged prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and others, according to pool reports from a journalist in the courtroom. Ellison and Blackwell shook hands.

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Philonise Floyd had been seen praying in the courtroom. Asked by a pool reporter afterward what he had been praying for, he answered: "I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice."

There was no noticeable reaction from the jury, according to a pool reporter. The jurors each remained still and quiet, staring at the judge until they were called upon to announce their judgment.

The jury had been deliberating for about 10 hours over two days, following closing arguments.

Floyd's death on Memorial Day 2020 sparked protests in Minneapolis, across the United States and around the world. It prompted calls for police reform and soul-searching on issues of racial injustice.

Floyd was a 46-year-old Black man from Houston who had moved to Minnesota three years earlier. He was a father and brother who idolized his mother, loved making music and had been a star athlete as a young man.

Floyd died after Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd lay facedown, hands cuffed behind his back.

The trial

Judge Cahill presided in the case. Known as being fair and decisive, Cahill made the unusual decision to allow the trial to be broadcast live.

The prosecution argued that Floyd died as a direct result of Chauvin's actions: that due to Chauvin's weight on Floyd's neck and back while holding him in the prone position, Floyd died of low oxygen levels that caused a brain injury and arrhythmia, causing his heart to stop.

"He did what he did on purpose, and it killed George Floyd," said prosecutor Steve Schleicher.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens to his defense attorney make closing arguments on Monday during his trial in the death of George Floyd. Court TV via AP hide caption

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Court TV via AP

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens to his defense attorney make closing arguments on Monday during his trial in the death of George Floyd.

Court TV via AP

Testimony in the case was remarkable in that witnesses for the prosecution included numerous members of the Minneapolis police. Minneapolis Police Department Chief Medaria Arradondo and other members of his department testified that Chauvin's lengthy restraint of Floyd was not reasonable and violated the department's policies on use of force.

"There is an initial reasonableness in trying to get him under control in the first few seconds," Arradondo testified, "but once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back — that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy, is not part of our training and is certainly not part of our ethics or our values."

Chauvin's defense, meanwhile, argued that there was a range of potential factors in Floyd's death, including what it said was Floyd's enlarged heart, fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system and possibly carbon monoxide from squad car exhaust.

Above all, defense attorney Eric Nelson strove to inject doubt into the state's case. He framed Chauvin's actions as those of a "reasonable police officer" doing his job under stressful and chaotic circumstances.

The testimony ranged from complex medical and forensic pathology topics to discussion of police training and officers' use of force. There were moments of deep emotion, including from bystander Charles McMillian and the young woman identified in court as Darnella, who was 17 when she took video of the incident.

Hennepin County's medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, testified that Floyd died from cardiopulmonary arrest resulting from "law enforcement subdual, restraint and the neck compression." He said the manner of death was "homicide," meaning that someone else was involved in the death.

Compared with the prosecution, the defense's testimony was brief. Defense attorney Nelson called just six witnesses, including a retired Minneapolis police officer and a retired paramedic who had interacted with Floyd during a 2019 traffic stop.

The defense spent the most time questioning Dr. David Fowler, a retired forensic pathologist who testified that Floyd died from a sudden cardiac event and that opioids and methamphetamine in his system and possibly carbon monoxide poisoning played a role. He disputed the Hennepin County medical examiner's judgment that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide" and said that it should have been classified as "undetermined," given the number of factors in play.

In the opinion of Baker, the medical examiner, "the law enforcement subdual, restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take, by virtue of those heart conditions." While fentanyl and heart disease may have contributed to Floyd's death, they were not the direct cause, Baker said.

Other medical and forensic witnesses called by the prosecution agreed.

"Mr. George Floyd died from a cardiopulmonary arrest. It was caused by low oxygen levels. And those low oxygen levels were induced by the prone restraint and positional asphyxiation that he was subjected to," testified Dr. Jonathan Rich, a cardiologist.

Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, described their Houston childhood and told the court about how Floyd "was a leader in our household." Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, described her affection for him and their mutual struggle with opioid addiction.

The charges

Unintentional second-degree murder is defined as causing death without intent to do so, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years.

Third-degree murder is causing death to an individual by "perpetrating an act imminently dangerous to others and evidencing a depraved mind without regard for human life," but without the intent to cause death. It carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Second-degree manslaughter is causing the death of another by "culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk" in which the defendant "consciously takes the risk of causing death or great bodily harm to another individual." It carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The jury

The names of the jurors are not known. But we do know that the jury was significantly less white than Hennepin County itself.

The 12 jurors included four Black people, two people who identify as multiracial and six white people. Two alternates — both of them white women — were dismissed.

The jury reported each day for duty to the Hennepin County Government Center under intense security measures, using a private entrance to enter the court.

The jurors were given a laptop and monitor to review the extensive video footage and exhibits presented during the trial.

"Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw," prosecutor Schleicher told the jury.

If the state is "missing any one single element" to meet the burden of proving Chauvin's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for each of the three counts, "it is a not-guilty verdict," defense attorney Nelson told them.

Beyond the courtroom

On the Sunday before the last week of testimony, another Black man was killed at the hands of police in Hennepin County. Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop. Potter, who says she mistakenly fired her gun instead of a Taser, resigned from the force and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Major demonstrations have followed Wright's shooting, with protesters gathering outside the Brooklyn Center police station in suburban Minneapolis.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama drew a straight line between the deaths of Floyd and Wright: "The fact that this could happen even as the city of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country," they said in a statement.

April 20

What We Know About The Jurors In The Chauvin Trial

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Defense attorney Eric Nelson (left) and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listen to Judge Peter Cahill read instructions to the jury before closing arguments Monday. Court TV/Pool via AP hide caption

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Court TV/Pool via AP

Defense attorney Eric Nelson (left) and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listen to Judge Peter Cahill read instructions to the jury before closing arguments Monday.

Court TV/Pool via AP

Closing statements concluded Monday afternoon in the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. His fate is now in the hands of 12 jurors. They include a chemist, a youth volunteer, a cardiac nurse and an IT professional.

The group is more racially diverse than Hennepin County, Minn., as a whole: Six are white, four are Black, and two identify as multiracial. Five are men and seven are women.

Jury selection concluded March 23 after just over two weeks of questioning by Judge Peter Cahill and attorneys on both sides. The 15th juror was dismissed before opening statements began March 29. And the 13th and 14th jurors were told just after closing arguments ended that they are alternates.

Chauvin faces charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's killing while in police custody.

Here's what we know about the jurors who have been seated:

No. 2: White man, 20s

He described himself as a chemist and environmental studies scientist who said he typically views life through an analytical lens.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked him to expand on some of the answers he gave on his written questionnaire, particularly a question concerning Black Lives Matter.

"I support the message that every life should matter equally," the juror said. "I don't believe that the organization Black Lives Matter necessarily stands for that."

The juror was also asked to expand on answers he gave about disparities in policing and about the criminal justice system. He said he doesn't necessarily think Minneapolis police are more likely to use force against Black people than they would against others.

However, he said he believes the criminal justice system is biased against racial and ethnic minorities. He said there was a lot of evidence to support that opinion.

No. 9: Multi/mixed race woman, 20s

She described herself as easygoing, and a mediator among her friends.

In her questionnaire, she said she had somewhat negative impressions of Chauvin but that she could keep an open mind and be fair. She also said she believes the Black Lives Matter movement, along with Blue Lives Matter, has turned into a disingenuous marketing scheme for corporations.

She has an uncle who's a police officer in central Minnesota but said that wouldn't affect her opinion.

When the judge told her she was chosen, she said, "Awesome."

No. 19: White man, 30s

He said he's in client services and has had to resolve conflicts before.

In his questionnaire, he indicated that his view of Chauvin was "somewhat negative" because he didn't resuscitate Floyd and that he supports Black Lives Matter in a general context. He also said he has some unfavorable views of Blue Lives Matter.

He said he has a "friend of a friend" who is a Minneapolis K-9 officer but that he hasn't spoken to him about the case or seen him since the pandemic.

He said he's seen the bystander video about two or three times, not in full, as part of news articles.

No. 27: Black man, 30s

He told the court he came to the United States 14 years ago, speaks multiple languages, works in information technology and is married.

Nelson asked the juror about an answer he provided on the written questionnaire about Floyd's death. "And you said, 'It could have been me or anyone else.' Can you explain that a little?" Nelson asked.

"It could have been anybody. It could have been you," the juror replied. "I also used to live not far from that area [38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis] when I first met my wife. So that is why I said it could have been me. It could have been anybody."

Asked if he had any particular opinions about the Minneapolis Police Department or law enforcement in general, the man said he did not. The juror also said he felt somewhat supportive of both Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter.

"And you wrote that you believe 'our cops need to be safe and feel and be safe to protect our community,' " Nelson read from the juror's questionnaire. "Correct," the juror said.

No. 44: White woman, 50s

The court held part of her questioning without audio while discussing a sensitive matter with the juror. She later said in her work for a nonprofit advocacy group, she's had contact with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

When asked if she felt that would jeopardize her ability to be an impartial juror, she said no.

Nelson asked the juror about her answers on the jury questionnaire pertaining to the treatment of people of color by the criminal justice system.

"I do believe there's bias," the woman said. "I've seen it in my work."

The woman also said she had formed a somewhat negative opinion of Chauvin. But she said she had sympathy and empathy, not only for Floyd, but for the officers involved.

"Everyone's lives are changed by this incident and what happened. Everyone's lives," she said. "And it's not easy. For anyone."

No. 52: Black man, 30s

He said he works in the banking industry and is a youth sports coach.

In his questionnaire, he said he was neutral on Chauvin and Floyd. He said he had seen the video and has wondered why the other officers didn't intervene.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher questioned one of the juror's statements made during questioning by the defense. The man had said he didn't think anyone had the intent to cause Floyd's death.

Schleicher said Chauvin's intentions would be contested during the trial and asked him if he'd have a problem setting aside his opinion.

"I don't think it would be that difficult at all," he said. "I think I can definitely look at it with an objective point of view."

No. 55: White woman, 50s

She said she works in health care as an executive assistant.

The juror said she couldn't watch the full video because she found it too disturbing.

She also said in her questionnaire she has a somewhat negative opinion of Chauvin but that he's innocent until proven otherwise.

She said she has a somewhat unfavorable opinion of Black Lives Matter, acknowledging she perceives it possibly to mean that other lives don't matter. She wrote on her questionnaire, "I believe all lives matter," according to notes from the pool reporter.

No. 79: Black man, 40s

He said that he works in management capacity and that he has not formed an opinion about who is responsible for Floyd's death.

In his questionnaire, he said he had a neutral opinion of Chauvin and a "somewhat positive" impression of Floyd.

He said he strongly disagreed with defunding police, noting that his house was burglarized once and he had to call the police. The man said he immigrated to the United States.

No. 85: Multi/mixed race woman, 40s

She said she works in organizational management.

In responses to the court, she said was always taught to respect police but added she wouldn't have trouble second-guessing their decisions if needed.

"Police officers are human," she said. "They're not robots that are programmed to all behave in the exact same way. So I feel like as humans, they can make mistakes as well."

No. 89: White woman, 50s

She said she's a cardiac care nurse who lives in the suburbs.

She was questioned in depth about her medical training and whether she would second-guess police on resuscitation efforts. She was also asked whether she would reference her nursing experience during deliberations. She said she could avoid it and would not act as an expert during deliberations.

"I think I can be impartial and listen to instructions and go with what I'm given and ignore the outside stuff," she said.

No. 91: Black woman, 60s

She said that she's retired from a job in marketing and that she has a degree in psychology. She volunteers with underserved youth. She grew up in south Minneapolis near where Floyd died.

She said she watched a few minutes of the bystander video of Floyd's arrest before shutting it off.

She has a relative who is a Minneapolis police officer but they are not close.

She said she believes Blacks and whites do not receive equal treatment, noting that a white U.S. Capitol riot suspect was allowed to go on vacation in Mexico after she was charged.

She said she doesn't follow the news closely and does not know enough yet to judge the case one way or another.

No. 92: White woman, 40s

She said she works in communications and has been with the same company for 15 years.

She disagrees with defunding the police but believes change is needed based on what she's seen in media coverage of racism.

She noted somewhat negative views of both Chauvin and Floyd, that she didn't believe Floyd deserved to die, and that police used excessive force. But she also noted she didn't think Floyd was innocent either, according to notes from a pool reporter.

She said she understands there are reasons people struggle with addiction.

President Biden appears in the Oval Office on Tuesday, where in brief remarks to the press he said he was praying that the verdict in the George Floyd case "is the right verdict." Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden appears in the Oval Office on Tuesday, where in brief remarks to the press he said he was praying that the verdict in the George Floyd case "is the right verdict."

Evan Vucci/AP

President Biden, speaking as the jury in Derek Chauvin's murder trial is sequestered in its second day of deliberations, said Tuesday that he is "praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is, I think it's overwhelming in my view."

Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that he has reached out to family members of George Floyd as they, and the nation, await the outcome of the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing Floyd.

The president said he can "only imagine the pressure and anxiety" the Floyd family is feeling and that he "wanted to see how they are doing."

He added that he wasn't going to say anything about the conversation, but Floyd's brother commented about it publicly Tuesday.

"He was just calling," Floyd's younger brother, Philonise, told NBC's Today show. "He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we're going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, and hoping that everything will come out to be OK."

Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death.

At Tuesday's White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki was called on to explain Biden's remarks about the trial. Psaki said the president "certainly is not looking to influence" the verdict, "but he has been touched by the impact on the family."

She said the president "was conveying what many people are feeling across the country, which is compassion for the family, what a difficult time this is, what a difficult time this is for many Americans across the country who have been watching this trial very closely."

The jury in Chauvin's trial began deliberating Monday after hearing 13 days of testimony in the case. As NPR's Juana Summers has reported, the trial presents what could be the first major flashpoint over race and policing in Biden's presidency.

Biden said he was only weighing in on the case because the jury was sequestered. But his remarks came a day after Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson asked for a mistrial after comments over the weekend by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who said protesters should get "more confrontational" if Chauvin is not convicted. Waters later told CNN her remarks about confrontation were meant in the context of the nonviolent history of the civil rights movement, saying, "The whole civil rights movement is confrontation."

Judge Peter Cahill turned down the motion, but said that Waters' remarks could help Chauvin win an appeal.

"I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case," Cahill admonished, "especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function."

Live Updates: Trial Over George Floyd's Killing

The latest from the murder trial of Derek Chauvin in Minnesota