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Google Images Photo

Claire Stinger, Editor

On May 25, 2020, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck, pinning him against the cement for approximately 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd, who was accused of using a counterfeit bill, was also an African American, which led many to the conclusion of the incident being a hate crime. While Floyds “crime” had been miniscule, Floyd lost his life due to sustaining injuries from this incident. Now, over a year later, Chauvin is finally going to trial to determine if his actions were justifiable. The jury that Chauvin faces wishes to remain anonymous during this time. 

While there were several bystanders who watched in horror, Floyd still lost his life. Yet even after this unfathomably horrible event, justice has yet to be served. “Why?” you may be asking. After receiving the charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin has pleaded not guilty of these crimes. 

Over the course of seven days, and counting, bystanders came to the stand to share the events they witnessed that day. Mixed Martial Arts fighter Donald Williams came to the stand to professionally educate the courtroom and jury on what Chauvin had done that day. “You can see his foot, his toe is pointing down,” Williams explained. “And that’s the pressure, to push more down, between his knee, George’s head and the concrete and cut off circulation.”(NBC News). There were several other bystanders, including the passenger in Floyds car, who is expected to use his fifth amendment right and not self-incriminate. It is speculated that he is doing this due to the fact he is already in custody for charges of his own. 

Bystanders, however, were not the only people who came to the stand to explain how they felt about Chauvins actions. Police Chief of Minneapolis, Medaria Arradondo, spoke on how Chauvins actions were “in no way, shape or form proper.” (CNN). Arradondo, the police chief, also explained how this is not how any of the staff on his force had been trained. He directly stated in his testimony that “it’s not what we [the police department] trains.”

The trial came to a conclusion on April 20, 2021. Former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, which was all of the charges he faced.