Wednesday, April 21
Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murdering George Floyd in the United States.
The 12-person jury deliberated for about 10 hours before arriving at a unanimous verdict, finding Chauvin guilty on all three counts: second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
The most serious of those charges carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, though Chauvin is unlikely to face such a long period in prison. The guidelines for an offender with no criminal record suggest a sentence of about 12.5 years.
The sentencing phase of the trial is still to come.
Chauvin was taken from the courtroom in handcuffs moments after the verdict was read. Meanwhile, Mr Floyd’s brother Philonise hugged the prosecutors.
There were wild celebrations outside the court as the news dropped.
However, the verdict has not pleased everyone. Even before the verdict came in, conservative commentators were questioning the fairness of the legal process.
Many were upset with the politicisation of the trial, and felt the jury were essentially bullied into finding Chauvin guilty.
However, many around the world have reacted with joy to the verdict, saying that justice had been served.
Mr Floyd died in Minneapolis last year after a confrontation with police, who had responded to reports he’d used a fraudulent $US20 note to purchase cigarettes.
Bystanders filmed Chauvin kneeling on the unarmed African-American man’s neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds, a position he maintained despite Mr Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
At a media conference alongside the Floyd family’s lawyers, a tearful Philonise Floyd said he always had “faith” that Chauvin would be convicted.
“I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity to hopefully get some sleep,” he said.
“Today you have cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. It was a motion picture. The world saw his life being extinguished. And I could do nothing but watch, in that courtroom over and over again, as my brother was getting murdered.”
He started to fight back tears.
“We have to always understand that we have to march. We will have to do this for life. We have to protest. Because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle,” he said.
“I’m going to put up a fight every day. Because I’m not just fighting for George anymore, I’m fighting for everyone around this world.
“We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Ben Crump, one of the lawyers representing the family, called the guilty verdict “painfully earned justice”.
“Today’s verdict goes far beyond this city and has significant implications for the country, and even the world,” Mr Crump said.
“Justice for black America is justice for all of America. This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement, and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state.”
Another of the family’s lawyers, Jeff Storms, said the jury had sent “a clear and direct message that this can never happen again”.
As the verdict was read, a crowd that had gathered on the spot where Mr Floyd died erupted in cheers.
A separate crowd outside the courthouse also celebrated, chanting “all three counts”.
UN experts have demanded that the United Arab Emirates provide information about the daughter of Dubai’s ruler and release her, newsagencies are reporting.
The move comes two months after the BBC aired a video it said was of Sheikha Latifa describing herself as a hostage in a villa.
The UAE said on February 19 that Sheikha Latifa was being cared for at home, after the UN human rights office headed by Michelle Bachelet asked it for proof that she was alive amid growing international concern about her fate.
“We are alarmed that, following the public release in February of footage in which Sheikha Latifa reported being deprived of her liberty against her will, and the subsequent official request for further information on her situation, no concrete information has been provided by the authorities,” the independent UN human rights experts said in a joint statement.
“The statement issued by the Emirates authorities, merely indicating that she was being ‘cared for at home’ is not sufficient at this stage,” added the experts, who include the UN investigators on torture and on violence against women.
The joint statement said the experts called for “independent verification of the conditions under which she is being held, and for her immediate release”.
Latifa has a tempestuous relationship with her father, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.(Instagram: HRH Princess Haya)
UAE authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A spokeswoman for Ms Bachelet’s office said earlier this month it had not received a requested “proof of life” for Sheikha Latifa from the UAE.
Senior UN officials sought a meeting with the UAE ambassador in Geneva about Latifa, which in principle has been agreed, the spokeswoman said at the time.
The fate of Sheikha Latifa, 35, and her tempestuous relationship with her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also a vice-president of the UAE, has cast a new spotlight on his family affairs.
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum drew international attention in 2018 when a human rights group released a video made by her in which she described an attempt to escape Dubai.
She was captured off the coast of India after an operation by special forces and taken back to Dubai.
The European Super League project is in crisis, with Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal confirming their exit, meaning all six Premier League signatories have — or are about to — withdraw from the breakaway competition.
Liverpool, United, Spurs and Arsenal all released statements within minutes confirming they would no longer take part.
Earlier, Manchester City was the first of the 12 founding clubs to signal their departure, with a one-line statement on Wednesday morning (AEST).
The initial announcement of the new league on Sunday was followed by a backlash from fans, pundits, administrators and broadcasters.
The BBC reported Chelsea were also set to back out of the competition, as hundreds of Chelsea fans demonstrated outside their club’s West London ground Stamford Bridge, voicing their opposition to the proposal.
Petr Cech — a former Champions League-winning goalkeeper who played for Chelsea for more than a decade — pleading with fans outside the ground as they blocked the players’ bus from entering the stadium.
Cech, now a performance and technical adviser at Chelsea, could be heard on video posted on Twitter imploring with fans: “Let people sort this out, but this is not the thing.
“Let people in. Let the bus go in. Give people time.”
Chelsea’s players were attempting to enter the stadium in time for a Premier League fixture against Brighton. The demonstration delayed the kick-off.
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