Chauvin’s guilt caught on video
Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday on all three counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last May.
Chauvin’s guilt was decided by the 12 jurors in the Hennepin County courhouse, but it was established last May, when video shot by a bystander showed Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, unmoving and unmoved as Floyd, his hands handcuffed behind him, struggled to breath as Chauvin and two other officers held him down on the pavement. The video captured his gasps of “I can’t breathe,” his calls for his mother, his pleading with officers. It captured Floyd as he went limp, and showed Chauvin continuing to kneel on Floyd’s neck until an EMT worker tapped him on the shoulder to get off so he could try to revive Floyd.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson vigorously defended Chauvin’s actions as those of “a reasonable officer,” but it was obvious on the video that Chauvin held his position on top of Floyd long after it was necessary, long after he should have allowed Floyd to turn on his side or sit up, long after he should have started resuscitation efforts.
This was no split second, kill-or-be-killed situation, no facing down a criminal with a gun. This was nine minutes of torment for a man who may have resisted getting into a police car, who may have passed a counterfeit bill, who did have a drug problem, but who did not pose any threat to police as he lay handcuffed on his stomach.
That was all too evident on the video that led Tuesday to the conviction of Derek Chauvin.