April 20 2021, after nearly three weeks in court, former white police officer Drake Shawan was convicted of killing African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A 12-person jury found Xiao Wan guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Former white police officer Drake Shawan
Shawan, who was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Freud’s death, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Xiao wan faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. Because Xiao Wan had no previous criminal record, the sentence was lower than the maximum.
The case commenced on 29 March and the prosecution and defence called a total of 45 witnesses.
Before the verdict, there was a large number of media and people waiting at the courthouse door for Xiao Wan’s verdict. Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz declared a state of emergency in response to possible social unrest over the ruling.
As a result of Freud’s verdict, the White House canceled a speech scheduled for the afternoon about U.S. jobs.
On May 25, 2020, Floyd, an African-American, died after being crushed 9 minutes and 29 seconds into the neck by Shawan on the streets of Minneapolis. Since the end of May last year, Freud’s death has sparked a long, massive wave of anti-police violence and protests against racial discrimination across the United States.
Tensions have resynared in the United States as the case enters the ruling phase. Minnesota Gov. Waltz declared a state of emergency in seven counties and asked neighboring states for additional law enforcement assistance, U.S. media reported. Currently, more than 3,000 National Guard soldiers are assisting law enforcement in Minneapolis. Washington, D.C., National Guard said in a statement thursday that 250 National Guard members were sent to help deal with possible protests and riots in the capital.
“This case is a turning point in American history,” Floyd’s attorney was quoted as saying in a number of media headlines, including the Sydney Morning Herald. Many analysts call it “one of the most important rulings in American history”.
Floyd’s phrase “I can’t breathe” was quoted as a slogan by protesters during mass protests across the United States. In response to the ruling in this case, Freud’s family re-quoted the phrase: Today, we can breathe again.