On Tuesday, April 20, the jury found Chauvin, 45, guilty on all three counts against him: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Following the verdict, Judge Peter Cahill revoked the former officer’s bail. Chauvin was then remanded into custody of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and escorted from the courthouse in handcuffs.
Celebrities including Mariah Carey and Cardi B reacted to the news with relief, while others noted that there is still much work to be done in the fight for police accountability in the United States. “The evidence of our eyes met at last by accountability in the eyes of justice,” former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams wrote via Twitter.
Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, shared her thoughts on the verdict shortly in a series of tweets. “This is a turning point,” the activist wrote. “Let’s continue to correct everything that stands against love. I can now take a breath. The moral arch of the universe is long, but today it bent toward justice thanks to the millions of people under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter standing up, speaking up and not letting up for humanity … My heart goes out, still, to George Floyd’s family. This verdict matters, but they continue to mourn a grave loss. Love and comfort to his daughter, Gianna.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison spoke about Chauvin’s conviction in a press conference following the reading of the verdict. “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration,” he said. “But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice.”
Floyd’s murder sparked massive protests in the United States last summer, with some estimates reporting that more than half a million people took to the streets on a single day in June. Other polls suggested that more than 15 to 26 million people participated in demonstrations in the weeks following Floyd’s May 25 death.
Judge Cahill said he expects to begin sentencing hearings in about two months. According to the New York Times, the recommended sentence for each charge for someone with no criminal history is 12.5 years, but the maximum sentences for the charges vary. The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years, while the maximum sentence for third-degree murder is 25 years.
Keep scrolling to read more celebrity reactions to the news of Chauvin’s conviction: