The world is reacting with shock to the verdict in trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with murder and manslaughter of George Floyd — after he was found guilty on all three counts.
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.
That means he faces a maximum sentence of 40 years, though the guidelines for an offender with no criminal record suggest a sentence of about 12.5 years.
There were wild celebrations outside the court as the news dropped, and while the sentencing phase of the trial is still to come, many around the world have reacted with joy to the verdict, saying that justice had been served.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump hailed the conviction as a “turning point in history” for the deeply divided United States.
“Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family,” tweeted Crump, the Floyd family lawyer, as Derek Chauvin was found guilty in a unanimous decision by a Minneapolis jury.
“This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!”
Others said there was no cause for celebration, adding that it won’t bring Mr Floyd back and that it changes nothing about racism in America.
Former President Barack Obama said that today “a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing”.
“But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict,” he said.
However, the verdict has not pleased everyone. Even before the verdict came in, conservative commentators were questioning the fairness of the legal process.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the announcement that a verdict had been reached, President Joe Biden called for the “right” decision in the racially charged trial.
Wild celebrations outside the court
In Minneapolis, where the trial took place, there were scenes of wild celebration following the verdict.
Here are some of the best pictures.
Amid fears of unrest, National Guard troops have been deployed in Minneapolis and Washington, the nation’s capital.
Minneapolis has been the scene of nightly protests since Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot dead in a suburb of the Minnesota city on April 11 by a white policewoman.
In Washington, the National Guard said some 250 troops were being deployed “to support local law enforcement” in response to potential demonstrations.
– more to come