Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murdering George Flloyd.
It should stand as a reminder that police officers should be restrained in their use of force. What Chauvin did would be almost unthinkable in NZ. When someone is handcuffed and prone on the ground, you don’t need to stand on their neck, and certainly not for eight and a half minutes.
Chauvin’s ignoring of Floyd’s pleas he could not breath showed a lack of humanity. The least he should have done is stop and check he was alright. Not only did he not do that, he prevented others from assisting.
Whether his actions reached the threshold of murder or manslaughter beyond reasonable doubt was a matter for the jury. They heard all the evidence.
I thought a conviction for something was likely after the defence laid out its case. They arguably would have been better to not call their own experts, as their witnesses actually strengthened the prosecution case according to court watchers.
There have been many cases where US police officers have been charged with excessive force and a jury (or grand jury) has acquitted them. Just because there is a threat of riots if an office is acquitted doesn’t mean it influences the jury, if they take their oaths seriously. Again many other officers have been acquitted. This jury found Chauvin guilty because they believed his actions did unlawfully lead to the death of Floyd. His actions didn’t have to be the only factor, but had to be found to have contributed (ie would Floyd be dead if Chauvin had not aced as he did).