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Jubilant crowds take to the streets to celebrate guilty verdict in Chauvin trial

Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder and manslaughter. A panel of six white and six Black or multi-racial jurors convicted him on all three charges Tuesday afternoon. Floyd's death last May ignited a wave of public protests that rocked the nation -- and Tuesday's verdict set off celebrations outside the courthouse in Minneapolis.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The verdict is in, in the case that riveted the nation, the trial of Derek Chauvin.

    The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty today of killing George Floyd last May. The jury, six whites and six Black or multiracial, deliberated just 10 hours.

    And the judge announced the result.

  • Judge Peter Cahill:

    Verdict count one, court file number 27-CR20-12646: "We the jury in the above entitled matter as to count one, unintentional second-degree murder while committing a felony, find the defendant guilty, this verdict agreed to this 20th day of April 2021 at 1:41 p.m.," signed jury foreperson, juror number 19.

    Same caption, verdict count two: "We the jury in the above entitled matter as to count two, third-degree murder, perpetrating an imminently dangerous act, find the defendant guilty," this verdict agreed to this 20th day of April 2021 at 1:45 p.m.," signed by jury foreperson, juror number 19.

    Same caption, verdict count three: "We the jury in the above entitled matter as to count three, second-degree manslaughter, culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk, find the defendant guilty."

  • Judy Woodruff:

    An expectant crowd erupted in cheers and celebration outside the courthouse in Minneapolis as those verdicts were read in a case that has rocked the nation.

    Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison spoke minutes later.

  • Keith Ellison:

    I would not call today's verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.

    And now the cause of justice is in your hands. And when I say your hands, I mean the hands to have the people of the United States.

    George Floyd mattered. He was loved by his family and his friends. His death shocked the conscience of our community, our country, the whole world. He was loved by his family and friends.

    But that isn't why he mattered. He mattered because he was a human being, and there is no way we can turn away from that reality.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Our special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro has been covering the Chauvin trial for us. He is now outside that Minneapolis courtroom.

    Fred, you have been there. You have been there throughout the trial. How would you describe — we just saw pictures of people cheering. What are you seeing and what are people saying to you?

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    Well, Judy, I am at a distance where I can hear you, because, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to.

    The party continues just a short hop from where I'm standing right now. There's a great deal of jubilation that you referred to a little bit earlier. I suspect that's going to continue later into the evening in the wee hours of the morning here and in George Floyd Square about three miles south of here.

    And I suspect, in the broader Twin Cities area, there are a lot of people heaving a sigh of relief, given that this is a city that's been boarded up in anticipation of the alternative, and a lot of people dreaded what that might have brought on to the streets.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Fred, give us a sense of what the anticipation was like and what you expect to happen now, given these verdicts.

  • Fred de Sam Lazaro:

    I think a lot of people were very, very optimistic, and, in fact, there was a great deal of pent-up anticipation this afternoon, because the verdict came relatively quickly.

    So, there was some optimism, but guarded because of the history in these cases, which have seen very, very rarely a conviction of police officers. That said, now, there is a great deal of business to be done. The sentencing phase of Chauvin's trial will happen in the weeks ahead. That is a little bit complicated.

    And then we have the trial of the three officers who were with him. That will be held in August. And concurrent with all of this was the shooting of Daunte Wright in suburban Brooklyn Center. And that's still ricocheting around in the community.

    There's a lot of things going on, a lot of what folks here would call unfinished business, even amid all of the relief and jubilation.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Fred de Sam Lazaro, who has been on the scene covering this.

    And I know, Fred, you're going to continue to cover as we go forward. Thank you, Fred de Sam Lazaro.

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