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AFP
April 21, 2021

Jury reaches verdict in Floyd murder case

National

AFP
April 21, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS: A verdict has been reached in the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering black George Floyd as US cities braced for a verdict in a case that sparked nationwide protests against racism last summer.

Amid fears of potential unrest, National Guard troops have been deployed in Minneapolis and Washington, the nation´s capital.

"A verdict has been reached and will be read between 3:30-4:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 20" (4:30-5:00 p.m. ET), according to the notice. Jurors deliberated for four hours on Monday and resumed deliberating this morning at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET). The court did not specify in the notice when jurors stopped deliberating today.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020. He has pleaded not guilty.

Chauvin, who is white, was captured on video kneeling on Floyd´s neck for more than nine minutes as the handcuffed 46-year-old Black man said repeatedly "I can´t breathe."

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden had spoken with Floyd´s family on Monday to "check in with them and also share that the family was in his prayers." Amid fears of potential unrest, National Guard troops have been deployed in Minneapolis and Washington, the nation´s capital.

Minneapolis has been the scene of nightly protests since Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot dead in a suburb of the Minnesota city on April 11 by a white policewoman. Some 400 protesters marched through the city on Monday calling for Chauvin´s conviction, chanting: "The world is watching, we are watching, do the right thing."

In Washington, the National Guard said some 250 troops were being deployed "to support local law enforcement" in response to potential demonstrations. Much of the three-week trial involved testimony from medical experts about Floyd´s cause of death. Medical experts for the prosecution said Floyd died from a lack of oxygen from Chauvin´s knee on his neck and that drugs were not a factor.

The defense called a retired police officer who said Chauvin´s use of force against Floyd was "justified." Police officers testifying for the prosecution -- including the Minneapolis police chief -- said it was excessive and unnecessary.