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verdict reached Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty of second-degree murder of George Floyd

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Defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, arrive for the verdict in Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, arrive for the verdict in Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

George Floyd

George Floyd

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Defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, arrive for the verdict in Chauvin's trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The former Minneapolis police officer was charged with murder and manslaughter after kneeling on the neck of a dying George Floyd during an arrest last May.

The 12 sequestered jurors considered three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, including bystanders, police officials and medical experts, along with hours of video evidence that make up the most high-profile US case involving accusations of police misconduct in decades.

Chauvin, who is white, had pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree "depraved mind" murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The jury began its deliberations on Monday, April 19 after listening to closing arguments for most of the day. Jurors were requested to reach a unanimous verdict on each charge to convict or acquit. A single hold-out would result in a mistrial, although the state could then try Chauvin again.

Chauvin pushed his knee into the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old handcuffed Black man, for more than nine minutes outside the grocery store where Floyd had been accused of buying cigarettes with a fake $20 bill.

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George Floyd

George Floyd

George Floyd

The case hinged on whether the jury believes the prosecution argument that Chauvin used excessive, and therefore illegal, force that killed Floyd.

The defence countered that Chauvin behaved as any "reasonable police officer" would," and sought to raise doubts about the cause of Floyd's death, saying heart disease or even the exhaust fumes from the nearby police car may have been factors.

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Reuters


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