The Derek Chauvin trial and verdict


Courtesy of Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

A Black Lives Matter Protest in which protesters hold a sign representing the injustice against George Floyd.

Last year, on May 25, George Floyd was arrested, and ultimately murdered.

During the altercation, four police officers detained Floyd for suspected use of counterfeit money at a convenience store. One in particular, Derek Chauvin, pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck. Dr. Andrew Baker, the chief medical examiner in Hennepin County, stated that Floyd later died due to cardiopulmonary arrest, which was a result of Chauvin kneeling on his neck.

Chauvin was put on trial for Floyd’s death in which he plead not guilty to his charges of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.

During the trial many different witnesses testified, several of which expressed their horror at what Chauvin did and some expressing feelings of guilt that they could not do anything. Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department, Medaria Arradondo, said during the trial,“Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped.” He also included that the neck restraint used on Floyd was not policy and that “a conscious neck restraint by policy mentions light to moderate pressure.”

There was speculation that drug use was involved in his death. Baker said that although they did find fentanyl and methamphetamine in his bloodstream, they weren’t the direct cause of death. Baker stated, “Mr. Floyd’s use of fentanyl did not cause the subdual or neck restraint.”

Many medical personnel testified during the trial with several saying that Floyd’s death was due to his neck being compressed resulting in a lack of oxygen. In addition, several testified that drug use did not play a part in Floyd’s death.

Chauvin was announced guilty of all charges on April 20 leaving him to face up to 40 years in prison for his second-degree murder charge, 25 for his third-degree murder charge and 10 for his manslaughter charge.

Some WHHS students were familiar with Floyd’s death last summer and weighed in on the trial’s verdict. “I know [Chauvin] was charged with second and third degree murder, I don’t know too much on the topic, but generally I think he deserved it,” Lucy Sampson, ‘26, said.