The nation is still abuzz Wednesday after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on all counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. The verdict, which found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he knelt on Floyd for more than nine minutes last May, set off celebrations nationwide filled with tears, hugs and relief.

Now, all eyes turn to Chauvin’s sentencing in the coming weeks, where he faces up to 40 years in prison, as well as the trials in August for the three other former Minneapolis police officers facing charges stemming from Floyd’s death.

Here’s what to know:

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced a sweeping Justice Department probe into the practices and culture of the Minneapolis Police Department, elevating the federal government’s role a day after Chauvin was found guilty.
  • After calling Floyd’s family, President Biden called for confronting systemic racism. “It’s not enough. We can’t stop here,” he said from the White House after the conviction.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday said Biden had been briefed on the fatal police shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl in Columbus, Ohio, which came just as Chauvin’s conviction was being celebrated as a sign of long-elusive accountability for law enforcement.
  • Legal experts say the outcome, a rare instance where an officer is convicted of murder for killing someone on duty, was due to the prosecution’s efforts to fully sever Chauvin from policing, the job he held for nearly two decades.
  • For Black Americans, the positive feelings surrounding the Chauvin verdict were tempered by outrage over other injustices and worries that one officer’s conviction would be held up as proof that the systemic problems highlighted by Floyd’s killing were solved.

When will Chauvin be sentenced?

He is scheduled to be sentenced in about eight weeks. Chauvin, who is just the second Minnesota police officer to be convicted of murder, faces up to 40 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge.

After his conviction Tuesday, Chauvin was handcuffed and taken into custody. Judge Peter A. Cahill revoked Chauvin’s bail after the verdict. The former officer had been out of jail on bail since October.

Though the Minnesota sentencing guidelines recommend lesser sentences — 12.5 years on the murder charge — for someone who does not have a criminal history, the state is pushing for a tougher sentencing.

Chauvin’s mug shot was released early Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Corrections. He is being held at a segregated unit of a state prison about 25 miles outside Minneapolis as he awaits sentencing, CNN reported.

When are the other officers heading to court?

In addition to Chauvin, three other former Minneapolis police officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — are scheduled to head to court in August.

The three men face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter. Like Chauvin, they could each face up to 40 years in prison for the aiding and abetting murder charge, but sentencing guidelines could limit the maximum sentence to around 15 years. At a Minnesota Court of Appeals hearing scheduled for next month, the state will attempt to add a third-degree murder charge for Thao, Lane and Kueng.

The trial for the three former officers is happening Aug. 23 after a judge split them from Chauvin, citing covid-19 protocols. All of them are currently free on $750,000 bail.

What’s the status of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act?

On April 21, members of Congress responded to Derek Chauvin being found guilty in the murder of George Floyd. (The Washington Post)

With Chauvin’s conviction, the Floyd family will likely turn its attention toward securing passage of federal legislation aimed at reducing police brutality and racism.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a reform measure introduced by Democrats last year that could help reshape police training in the U.S. Among the reforms included in the bill are prohibiting racial profiling throughout law enforcement, banning chokeholds and instituting a national police misconduct registry. The act passed in the House but it remains stalled in the Senate.

Vice President Harris, who introduced the legislation last year as a member of the Senate, urged senators to pass the bill, saying “this work is long overdue” and that racial injustice is “a problem for every American.”

After the verdict was announced, Floyd’s family members emphasized the importance of the Senate passing the police reform measure. In an op-ed for The Washington Post on Wednesday, Philonise Floyd called on the Senate to “begin the work of transforming policing in the United States” by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

“What does justice feel like?” he wrote. “It feels like maybe we can finally take a breath.”

Garland says Justice Dept. probe to determine whether ‘Minneapolis police engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing’

On April 21, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced an investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in "unlawful policing.” (The Washington Post)

During remarks at Justice Department headquarters on Wednesday, Garland said the civil investigation following Chauvin’s conviction would determine whether “Minneapolis police engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.”

The Trump administration had opened a federal civil rights investigation in the case days after Floyd died last May when Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes while he was prone on the ground. Garland said in a statement late Tuesday that a criminal probe is ongoing.

“Nothing can fill the void the loved ones of George Floyd have felt since his death,” Garland said. “My heart goes out to them and to all those who have experienced similar loss.”

He said the civil probe will examine whether the Minneapolis police have engaged in excessive force, discriminatory conduct or abused those with mental or physical disabilities.

‘What a day to be a Floyd’

Terrence Floyd spoke about his brother in Minneapolis on April 20 following the guilty verdict in trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. (Reuters)

Terrence Floyd, one of George Floyd’s brothers, delivered an emotional statement in which he expressed his gratitude for all of the “support and prayers and love” shown for the Floyd family.

He also thanked all those who have long fought for social justice and racial equality, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, saying, “Their fight was not in vain.”

At a news conference after the jury’s guilty verdict, Floyd underlined how significant Tuesday’s resolution was for his family and to history.

“I will miss him, but now I know he’s in history,” Terrence Floyd said. “What a day to be a Floyd, man.”

Darnella Frazier, teen who filmed Floyd’s arrest, celebrates conviction: ‘Justice has been served’

The teenager who captured the world’s attention with her cellphone footage of George Floyd’s arrest and death last year, said she sobbed after jurors in Minneapolis returned a guilty verdict for former police officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday.

“I just cried so hard,” 18-year-old Darnella Frazier wrote on Facebook. “This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious. … But to know GUILTY ON ALL 3 CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.”

“George Floyd we did it!!” she wrote, ending her post with: “justice has been served.”

I just cried so hard😩This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing through the roof....

Posted by Darnella Frazier on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

As the nation celebrated the rare instance of a police officer being convicted of the murder of a Black person, many pointed to Frazier recording Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck in a video that’s been seen millions of times worldwide as a catalyst for the events that led to Tuesday’s guilty verdict.

On Instagram, Frazier thanked everyone for the public support over the last year. She again offered her condolences and love to Floyd’s family, saying she hoped they could find some semblance of justice from Chauvin’s conviction.

“Although no amount of charges will bring back a loved one, justice was served and his murderer will pay the price,” she said. “We did it.”

World reacts to Chauvin’s guilty verdict

Foreign leaders and media outlets began to react to Chauvin’s conviction in a case that sparked an international reckoning and has grasped the attention of observers around the world.

British politicians at the highest levels of government were quick to weigh in.

“I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that he was thinking of Floyd’s loved ones. “I welcome the verdict but by itself this won’t heal the pain of their loss, which reverberated around the world,” he wrote. “The guilty verdict must be the beginning of real change — not the end.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview on “Real Talk Ryan Jespersen” that “it is good news that we saw the verdict come through where people hoped it would.”

“But it still underlines that there’s an awful lot of work to do,” he said.

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