Derek Chauvin was accused of the murder of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin was a Minneapolis police officer. George Floyd was an African American man. On April 20, 2021, the jury [a group of people chosen to decide something at a trial] reached a decision. The jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.
On May 25, 2020, Chauvin arrested Floyd. Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck. Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin did not stop. George Floyd died. A teenage witness named Darnella Frazier took a video of Floyd’s death. The video made people very upset. Many people protested the treatment of African Americans by the police.
Derek Chauvin was arrested. He was put on trial. The jury of 12 citizens viewed evidence. They watched the video of George Floyd’s death. They listened to testimony from witnesses. They listened to experts like a doctor and a police chief. They decided Derek Chauvin was guilty of murder.
Now the judge, Peter Cahill, will decide on the sentence [punishment]. Chauvin could go to prison for as long as 40 years. Three officers were with Derek Chauvin when he killed George Floyd. They will also go on trial for helping Chauvin.
George Floyd’s family was pleased that justice was served. People carried signs that said, “Justice for George.” Some leaders argue that people need to keep working for justice. The conditions that led to George Floyd’s death still exist. African Americans are still treated unfairly by police. While the trial was going on, another African American man named Daunte Wright was shot by Minneapolis police during a traffic stop. Speaking after the Chauvin trial, George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, said, “We have to always understand that 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.”
What Do You Think? How would you define justice? What do you think the Derek Chauvin verdict means? What can you do to work for justice?
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