Before the jury was presented with the verdict, Derek Chauvin decided to take a pen. He held it with his fingers and opened the palm of his left hand as if it were a point. He wrote something.
Within minutes the members who debated their guilt or innocence for a few hours entered the Minneapolis courtroom.
The resolution was unanimous: the 45-year-old police officer was found guilty of second degree involuntary murder; murder in the third degree and manslaughter in the second degree. The three charges added together could mean a 75-year sentence.
Before the sentence was made official Chauvin and his lawyer, Eric Nelson, they had a brief dialogue. It is presumed that the lawyer told him that whatever the result of what was debated by the jury, they would appeal the ruling.
It was then that the former cop – who killed George Floyd in May 2020 after suffocating him for nine minutes by placing his knee against the victim’s neck – he wrote something on his hand that could only be distinguished when he was handcuffed and showed his palms to the cameras.
Chauvin wrote the phone number of his defense attorney, according to a video capture analyzed by the network Fox News and for the confirmation that the own Nelson made to the site TMZ.
The lawyer of the convicted person told the latter that his client had written the telephone number before the conviction, because Chauvin knew that if the jury found him guilty of second degree murder, his bail would almost certainly be revoked and he would be sent to custody.
Derek Chauvin wrote the phone number of his lawyer, Eric Nelson, on the palm of his hand before being handcuffed and knowing that he would be convicted of the murder of George Floyd.
But why did he write it on one hand instead of on paper? According to your experience, Chauvin You know that once you walk through the entrance of a penitentiary, your things could be confiscated and you will be left without the possibility of having your lawyer’s contact.
So far neither the lawyer nor the convict himself said what the call would consist of. However, both are likely to discuss the possibilities they have going forward, including a possible appeal.
The court’s decision came after Monday the Minnesota State Attorney’s Office and the defense of Chauvin present their closing arguments for about four hours in front of the jury.
After listening to the arguments of both sides and the instructions that the judge has given them for their deliberation, the jurors, six white people and six black people or of other races, were isolated and locked up in a hotel to review all the evidence presented at the trial and reach the sentence.
“They must be absolutely fair“, The judge told them on Monday Peter Cahill to the 12 members of the jury, asking them to “evaluate and weigh the evidence and apply the law”.
The evidence was, however, overwhelming against the policeman. Chauvin was videotaped kneeling for more than nine minutes on the neck of Floyd, who was handcuffed and immobilized face down on the ground and pleaded: “I can’t breathe.”
In his closing statement, the prosecutor Steve Schleicher He showed and mentioned before the jury the video recorded by a bystander who witnessed Floyd’s arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit $ 20 bill to buy a pack of cigarettes.
“Can you believe what you saw. It was not about police surveillance, it was about murder ”he insisted. “Nine minutes and 29 seconds of shocking abuse of authority. The defendant is guilty of all three counts. And there is no excuse“, claimed Schleicher.
According to the prosecutor, Floyd “asked for help with his last breath“, but Chauvin did not assist him. “George Floyd was no threat to anyone”, assured Schleicher.
For his part, the defense attorney Eric Nelson assured the jury that Chauvin “did not use illegal force on purpose”. “This was not a strangulation”, he said, and justified the actions of Chauvin and the other cops who kept Floyd down.
According to Nelson, Floyd’s heart disease and his drug use were decisive factors: “They’re trying to convince them that Mr. Floyd’s heart disease played no role. I am not suggesting that this was an overdose death but it is absurd to say that this did not play a role”.
Nelson urged the jury to find Chauvin not guilty: “The State has not been able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt“, he claimed.
George Floyd, a symbol
When George Floyd was a tight end for the Jack Yates High School football team in Third Ward, Houston, one of the city’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, his peers saw him as one of the most promising athletes in the neighborhood, one of those allowed to dream big.
He scored touchdowns or baskets almost at will, using a gifted physique to turn pro. So much that his school team reached the 1992 state final and he was able to savor the feeling of playing in a great stadium, the Astrodome. Although he lost that game 38-20 to Temple School, Floyd was thinking big.
Floyd’s height made him naturally prone to being tempted by basketball, a sport in which forged friendships with players who would later become well known, like former NBA champion Stephen Jackson.
The former San Antonio Spurs said that when they met they were surprised by the physical resemblance to each other.
“The first question we asked: ‘Who is your dad, who is your dad?’ Y It was from there that we said that we were twin brothers. We always went out together, every time I went to Houston, it was my first stop to pick him up,” she recalled.
George Floyd, in an image that became a symbol against racial oppression in the United States.
The athletic career of who is now remembered as a “lovable giant” unraveled at Texas A&M Kingsville University, where he attended after graduating from Jack Yates in 1993.
Christopher Harris, a longtime friend of Floyd’s, revealed that Floyd moved to Minneapolis from his native Houston several years ago in hopes of finding work and rebuilding his life at age 40.
After his frustrations as an athlete, he was charged in 2007 with armed robbery after robbing a home in Houston and in 2009 he was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal, according to court documents.
He had a daughter, whose name has been withheld, who is now six years old and lives in Houston with her mother, Roxie Washington. Harris said he convinced Floyd to move to Minnesota with some friends in search of work around 2014, after he got out of jail.
Incredibly, between his occupations he came across who would later become his murderer. Although Maya Santamaria, owner of El Rodeo Club, cannot confirm that they knew each other personally, she does know that she had Floyd as an employee and police officer Chauvin as security personnel working overtime for almost 17 years.
Local residents Mileesha Smith, Michael Wilson and Alfonzo Williams hug after the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of George Floyd’s death, at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“I was looking to start over, a new beginning,” Harris said. “He was happy with the change he was making.” Floyd got a security job at a Salvation Army store in downtown Minneapolis. He later had two jobs, one driving trucks and the other as security at Conga Latin Bistro, where he was known as “Big Floyd”.
Floyd was fired when Minnesota closed restaurants as part of the coronavirus pandemic quarantine, that required to stay at home. Harris tried to help Floyd by giving him contact information for a temp agency: “He was doing whatever it took to get on with his life.”
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