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Verdict Reached For Derek Chauvin's Trial For The Murder Of George Floyd


A verdict has been reached in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin. We expect to hear the jury's decision in the next hour. Chauvin, of course, is the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd by pinning his neck to the ground for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Before the judge sent the jurors to deliberate yesterday, he told them this.


PETER CAHILL: Now, members of the jury, the case is in your hands as judges of the facts. I am certain that you realize that this case is important and serious and therefore deserves your careful consideration.

KELLY: NPR's Leila Fadel has been covering the trial in Minneapolis. She's on the line from there now.

Hey, Leila.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Hey, Mary Louise.

KELLY: So what does this timing tell us, that the jury is back already?

FADEL: Right. I mean, this was pretty quick. They deliberated just under 11 hours. And legal experts say that's a good sign for the prosecution, a sign that they reached consensus quickly. And that usually leans towards conviction in criminal trials. Chauvin's already at the courthouse right now with his attorney...

KELLY: Leila, we've just lost the line for a second. We're going to hold there for a minute while you get back up there from Minneapolis. Let me bring in...


While we get Leila back on the line, Mary Louise, let's just review what the jury is considering here. There are multiple charges, both murder and manslaughter, based on that video that the jury was shown so many times over the course of this three-week trial.

KELLY: That's correct. Multiple charges that he faces - second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, those murder charges obviously being the most serious. It's possible he could be convicted on all of them or none of them or one or two. We don't know. Leila Fadel, are you back with us from Minneapolis?

FADEL: I am. I'm here.

KELLY: Hi. Ari and I were just discussing the charges, but you were about to tell us what this timing might mean. So let me let you pick up where you were.

FADEL: Right. So, as I said, this might be in the favor of the prosecution. People are beginning to gather right outside of the courthouse. And this jury - any jury, really - feels the weight of the responsibility of deciding someone's fate. But this jury, this jury has decided the fate of a man in a trial that was beamed around the world. They've now decided the fate of a man accused of killing George Floyd, a name that's invoked at social justice protests everywhere as the example of continued police killings of Black people. And so we'll see what they've decided.

FADEL: Yeah. And what does the rest of today look like? What actually happens in these coming hours?

FADEL: So after the verdict is read, then we will hear from Attorney General Keith Ellison - the state, remember, prosecuted this case - about 20 minutes after the verdict. We also expect to hear from the Floyd family about an hour after the verdict is read. And depending on what the outcome of the jury decision is, they - we might see a lot of protests or we might see a lot of celebration.

KELLY: I mean, we keep saying the whole city just feels on edge. What is it like there? What are you hearing from people?

FADEL: You know, I feel - you know, people feel just on edge, like you said. There are National Guard on every street corner in downtown, boarded-up buildings. The governor, Tim Walz, has requested law enforcement - brought in law enforcement from out of state. And so people are feeling worried, nervous, anxious. I spoke to a woman, Deanna Elias (ph), in south Minneapolis who talked about that concern.

DEANNA ELIAS: Trepidation, fear about, you know, what's going to happen. I think it seems like the city's preparing us for the potential of having, you know, not the outcome that we want, which is guilty on all charges. So I think that that's kind of what's giving me a little bit of fear and anxiety, like the National Guard, canceling Minneapolis public schools.

FADEL: So if there's an acquittal, many expect this city to explode with anger. If there are convictions on all charges, then I think that we'll see celebration. A mixed bag, some - a manslaughter and a murder charge without another murder charge like the second degree, we'll see the response after that.

KELLY: All right. Well, we thank you for your reporting there, Leila. Thank you.

FADEL: Thank you.

KELLY: And I want people listening to know we are going to be carrying this verdict live. We're expecting to go to live coverage in about 20 minutes. And the verdict could come down at some point right after that. We'll be hearing from other correspondents in Minneapolis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Leila Fadel is a national correspondent for NPR based in Los Angeles, covering issues of culture, diversity, and race.