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The ten-year-old girl whose testimony at George Floyd‘s trial is being cited by prosecutors as a reason for why Chauvin should never leave prison said on Wednesday morning that she felt ‘kinda proud’ of her contribution to his conviction. 

Jedeah Reynolds was nine last May when she walked to the Cup Foods store in Minneapolis with her older cousin Darnella Frazier to buy snacks. She had pestered her Darnella to go. When they were there, Floyd was arrested and killed by Chauvin. Darnella pulled out her phone to record it then gave the footage to police and prosecutors. 

Jedeah was presented as a prosecution witness. She told the court that watching Chauvin crush Floyd’s neck made her ‘sad and kind of mad’. 

Now, prosecutors are citing her as one of the reasons the judge should ignore sentencing guidelines and come down harder on Chauvin than the law requires.  

Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter yesterday and is now in a maximum security prison awaiting sentencing. Minnesota State Law decrees that an offender will only be sentenced for the most serious offense if convicted of multiple felonies that stem from a single act. 

In this case, the most serious offense is second degree murder, which carries a minimum of 12.5 years and a maximum of 40 years. Prosecutors have not been clear about how long they will ask the judge to put Chauvin away for but they have said they will ask him to consider aggravating factors like the trauma the killing forced on Jedeah.  

On Wednesday, she appeared on Good Morning America with a chaperone to talk about the trial. Asked how she felt about the verdict, she answered shyly: ‘Kinda proud’. 

She also said she was watching the verdict come in from home, with her mother and father, who told her: ‘We won’ and ‘this will bring change.’ 

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Jedeah Reynolds was nine when she watched Floyd die in front of the Cup Foods store. She had gone with her cousin to get snacks. Her cousin filmed the killing and it was one of the videos that went viral and led to Chauvin's arrest. Jedeah later testified about it. On Wednesday said she felt 'kinda proud' that she had taken part

Jedeah Reynolds was nine when she watched Floyd die in front of the Cup Foods store. She had gone with her cousin to get snacks. Her cousin filmed the killing and it was one of the videos that went viral and led to Chauvin's arrest. Jedeah later testified about it. On Wednesday said she felt 'kinda proud' that she had taken part

Jedeah Reynolds was nine when she watched Floyd die in front of the Cup Foods store. She had gone with her cousin to get snacks. Her cousin filmed the killing and it was one of the videos that went viral and led to Chauvin's arrest. Jedeah later testified about it. On Wednesday said she felt 'kinda proud' that she had taken part

Jedeah Reynolds was nine when she watched Floyd die in front of the Cup Foods store. She had gone with her cousin to get snacks. Her cousin filmed the killing and it was one of the videos that went viral and led to Chauvin's arrest. Jedeah later testified about it. On Wednesday said she felt 'kinda proud' that she had taken part

Jedeah Reynolds was nine when she watched Floyd die in front of the Cup Foods store. She had gone with her cousin to get snacks. Her cousin filmed the killing and it was one of the videos that went viral and led to Chauvin’s arrest. Jedeah later testified about it. On Wednesday said she felt ‘kinda proud’ that she had taken part

Jedeah is shown arriving at the Cup Foods store in Minneapolis, minutes before Floyd's death on May 25 last year. She had pestered her adult cousin to go to the store for snacks

Jedeah is shown arriving at the Cup Foods store in Minneapolis, minutes before Floyd's death on May 25 last year. She had pestered her adult cousin to go to the store for snacks

Jedeah is shown arriving at the Cup Foods store in Minneapolis, minutes before Floyd’s death on May 25 last year. She had pestered her adult cousin to go to the store for snacks 

She says she is now writing a children’s book to ‘teach people to be brave’. It will be called Judeah’s Walk to the Store. 

In interviews across the major TV networks on Wednesday morning, Floyd’s brother Philonise said he always had faith in the jury but that he prayed for the 30 minutes between being told a verdict was coming and the jury re-entering the courtroom to read it. 

Derek Chauvin in his booking photo taken on Wednesday. He is facing 40 years in prison

Derek Chauvin in his booking photo taken on Wednesday. He is facing 40 years in prison

Derek Chauvin in his booking photo taken on Wednesday. He is facing 40 years in prison

‘I prayed for 30 minutes. It took 30 minutes before the jury and judge even stepped out. I always had faith but for me to just sit there and pray and I hear “guilty” then some more numbers then “guilty again”. 

‘I said, “Lord, please let it be another” and I heard “guilty” again. I was excited. It was a pivotal moment for me, my family, the world,’ he said. 

He said he hoped the verdict was the ‘beginning of this nation figuring out that we can all live with each other’ and that he now hopes to push the George Floyd Policing Act through congress. 

Vice President Kamala Harris put pressure on lawmakers to pass the bill on Tuesday night. 

It would overhaul the country’s policing rules by banning racial profiling, chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants. 

It would also create a national registry for officers found guilty of misconduct and get rid of the legal protections they have now that are known as qualified immunity. 

You have so many people with blood on that bill [George Floyd policing act]. 

‘Breonna Taylor, the no-knock warrant, she was killed – innocent, in her house. 

‘Eric Garner and my brother George – the no chokehold clause – that needs to be in effect. 

‘You have to have dash-cams and bodycams on all times. They’re speaking everything into existence now,’ he said.  

Floyd's brother Philonise said on Wednesday he 'always had faith' the jury would do the right thing

Floyd's brother Philonise said on Wednesday he 'always had faith' the jury would do the right thing

Floyd's brother Philonise said on Wednesday he 'always had faith' the jury would do the right thing to achieve 'justice for George'

Floyd's brother Philonise said on Wednesday he 'always had faith' the jury would do the right thing to achieve 'justice for George'

Floyd’s brother Philonise said on Wednesday he ‘always had faith’ the jury would do the right thing to achieve ‘justice for George’

Charles McMillan was among the people who watched Floyd die under Chauvin's knee (left). He sobbed during the trial as he talked about how Floyd cried for his mother as he died

Charles McMillan was among the people who watched Floyd die under Chauvin's knee (left). He sobbed during the trial as he talked about how Floyd cried for his mother as he died

Charles McMillan was among the people who watched Floyd die under Chauvin's knee (left). He sobbed during the trial as he talked about how Floyd cried for his mother as he died

Charles McMillan was among the people who watched Floyd die under Chauvin's knee (left). He sobbed during the trial as he talked about how Floyd cried for his mother as he died

Charles McMillan was among the people who watched Floyd die under Chauvin’s knee (left). He sobbed during the trial as he talked about how Floyd cried for his mother as he died 

Charles McMillan, another trial witness who broke down in sobs as he testified about how Floyd cried out for his mother while he choked, was on CBS. 

McMillan said on Wednesday (pictured) that he knew Floyd was going to die and he was trying to comfort him

McMillan said on Wednesday (pictured) that he knew Floyd was going to die and he was trying to comfort him

McMillan said on Wednesday (pictured) that he knew Floyd was going to die and he was trying to comfort him 

He told Gayle King that he became so emotional while giving his testimony because he too had lost his mother. 

He also recalled never leaving Floyd’s side as he choked, and trying to de-escalate the situation by talking to the police officers involved.

McMillan also said he knew Floyd was going to die. 

‘Once they’ve got the cuffs on you… you better have something good to say or nothing at all,’ he said.  

Chauvin is now being held in a maximum security prison on suicide watch. 

As he was led away in cuffs from the courtroom, he flashed his palm which had his lawyer’s phone number scribbled on it. 

Derek Chauvin, 45, spends his first night in maximum security prison and is placed on suicide watch after being found guilty on ALL three charges of murder and manslaughter in death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin is waking up today in Minnesota’s maximum security prison where he has been placed on suicide watch after being found guilty on all three counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. 

Tuesday’s verdict triggered cheers outside the Minneapolis courthouse and massive celebrations across America while Joe Biden vowed to push through civil rights reforms after the killing he called a ‘stain on the nation’s soul.’

Within minutes Biden phoned Floyd’s family to tell them that his death, which had sparked a wave of global Black Lives Matter protests, was going to ‘change the world’.

The president was backed by other by senior Democrats, including Barack Obama who said ‘we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.’

Derek Chauvin is pictured in court on Tuesday as the jury found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin is pictured in court on Tuesday as the jury found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin is pictured in court on Tuesday as the jury found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd

Chauvin was led out of the court in handcuffs after the verdict came down on Tuesday afternoon

Chauvin was led out of the court in handcuffs after the verdict came down on Tuesday afternoon

The number is said to have belonged to the former cop's lawyer, Eric Nelson, and was visible as he stood up from his seat

The number is said to have belonged to the former cop's lawyer, Eric Nelson, and was visible as he stood up from his seat

Chauvin was led out of the court in handcuffs after the verdict came down on Tuesday afternoon. He had reportedly scribbled his lawyer’s phone number on the palm of his hand (right) before he was escorted out

4 grounds for Chauvin’s appeal

Too close to home 

While Floyd’s shocking death under Chauvin’s knee triggered months of protests across the globe, nowhere was the pain and anguish felt more acutely than in his native Minneapolis. The ex-cop’s legal team had argued there was no way their client could get a fair trial in Hennepin County but Judge Cahill refused to move it to another city because he said the chaos and anger surrounding Chauvin would follow him wherever he went. Likewise, Cahill refused to delay proceedings given the unlikelihood that anyone could forget the names of those involved or harrowing video of Floyd’s last moments. 

Another shooting, fresh outrage 

The second issue centers around the police-shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man who was gunned down by a white cop on April 11 in a Minneapolis suburb just 10 miles from where Floyd was killed. As protests erupted over Wright’s death in the middle of Chauvin’s trial, Nelson filed a motion to sequester the jury to shield them from media coverage. Nelson argued that ‘the emotional response [Wright’s] case creates sets the stage for a jury to say: “I’m not going to vote not guilty, because I’m concerned about the outcome.”‘ Cahill decided ultimately that sequestering the jury could bring even more attention to the Brooklyn Center tragedy and denied the motion, as he had done with Nelson’s earlier previous bids for sequestration. 

Maxine Waters’ incitement 

Perhaps the most powerful argument for a re-trial was acknowledged by Cahill himself on Monday evening immediately after the jury was sent out to deliberate.  It came when Nelson filed a motion for a mistrial and cited comments from Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who on the eve on closing statements attended a demonstration in Brooklyn Center and called for protesters to ‘get more confrontational’ if the Chauvin jury did not return a verdict of ‘guilty, guilty, guilty’. Chauvin denied the motion but said Waters may have handed the defense ‘something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned’. 

Floyd family payoff 

The fourth issue likely to be cited in the defense appeal took place before the trial even started, when the city of Minneapolis announced it would pay a $27million settlement to the Floyd family.  Nelson immediately asked for the trial to be moved and postponed on the grounds that the untimely announcement would taint the jury, but his request fell on deaf ears. Instead, it was agreed that the judge would re-voire dire the jurors already seated. Two jurors were dismissed after having admitted that they heard about the settlement and it left them unable to be impartial. The timing of the announcement clearly enraged Judge Cahill, prompting an outburst from the bench in which he ordered both the state and defense, ‘Just stop talking about it!’

 

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Chauvin looked around in seeming disbelief as the judge read the decision, which centered around footage of the nine minutes and 29 seconds that he had knelt on Floyd’s neck as the handcuffed, unarmed black man cried out: ‘I can’t breathe’ on May 25, 2020.

It took the jury just over ten hours of deliberation to find Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter based on a mountain of evidence and testimony presented over 15 days of trial in the Hennepin County court. Each charge required jurors to find that Chauvin’s actions were a ‘substantial causal factor’ in Floyd’s death and that his use of force was unreasonable.

Chauvin was led away in handcuffs as the judge immediately revoked his bail pending sentencing and dispatched him to Minnesota’s only maximum security prison, MCF-Oak Park Heights. 

No prisoner has ever escaped from MCF-Oak Park Heights, which sits about 25 miles east of Minneapolis near the Wisconsin border and houses around 500 of the most high-risk inmates in the state.

Chauvin is being closely watched by guards to ensure his safety, not just as a suicide risk, but also from other inmates with violent criminal histories, many of whom resent law enforcement.

The former cop is expected to file a swift appeal of his conviction. 

Over the course of the trial his defense attorney Eric Nelson repeatedly raised concerns that the massive media attention to the case would bias the jury and prevent his client from receiving a fair trial.

Jim Bruton, former warden of Oak Park Heights, described in his 2004 book about the prison how the hierarchy among inmates was determined by the crime committed. At the top of the scale are those who have killed a law enforcement officer. At the bottom are sex offenders, with child molesters considered the lowest of the low.

This hierarchy, coupled with Chauvin’s infamy as a police officer, means he will undoubtedly require bolstered protection and constant monitoring.

Cheers rang out across America, from Minnesota to New York City, on Tuesday afternoon as thousands celebrated the verdict in the case which had sparked months of rioting and set in motion the global Black Lives Matter movement.

President Biden phoned family members and lawyers for George Floyd just minutes after the verdict came in, consoling family members and celebrating a verdict that he said would ‘change the world.’

The call, and those from Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Jill Biden, was played on speaker phone by lead attorney Benjamin Crump as members of the family gathered around as the moment was broadcast live on cable news.

‘Feeling better now,’ Biden told tearful family members and listeners who gathered around the phone of Philonise Floyd, George’s younger brother, ‘Nothing is going to make it all better. But at least, God, now there’s some justice.’

Biden referenced comments by Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, that her late father was going to change the world.

‘He’s going to start to change it now,’ Biden told the group.

Biden previously revealed he also called the family Monday, with the outcome uncertain – and as the White House noted repeatedly, the jury was sequestered.

MINNESOTA V  DEREK CHAUVIN – CHARGES

Second-degree murder – GUILTY  

Possible sentence: 12.5 to 40 years 

The second-degree murder charge required prosecutors to prove Chauvin caused Floyd’s death while committing or trying to commit a felony — in this case, third-degree assault. 

Prosecutors had to convince the jury that Chauvin assaulted or attempted to assault Floyd and in doing so inflicted substantial bodily harm. Prosecutors did not have to prove Chauvin was the sole cause of Floyd’s death – only that his conduct was a ‘substantial causal factor’. 

Second degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, but because Chauvin does not have any prior convictions sentencing guidelines recommend he serve 12.5 years. 

Second-degree manslaughter – GUILTY 

Possible sentence: Four to 10 years 

The manslaughter charge has a lower bar, requiring proof that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death through negligence that created an unreasonable risk, and consciously took the chance of causing severe injury or death. 

Second degree manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison – sentencing guidelines for someone without a criminal record call for no more than four years behind bars.

Third-degree murder – GUILTY 

Possible sentence: 12.5 to 25 years 

Third-degree murder required a lower standard of proof than second-degree. To win a conviction, prosecutors needed to show only that Floyd’s death was caused by an act that was obviously dangerous, though not necessarily a felony. 

Third-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 25 years but because Chauvin has no criminal history he would likely end up serving about 12.5. 

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Minneapolis had been on tenterhooks waiting for the verdict to come in amid fears that if a guilty verdict had not been returned then riots would have ensued. The National Guard had been deployed and razor wire surrounded the courthouse.

Biden said: ‘We’ve been watching every second of this, and the vice president, all of us. We were all so relieved, not just one verdict but all three.’

Harris, the nation’s first black and first female vice president, also spoke. ‘I’m just so grateful for the entire family,’ she said, saluting ‘your courage, your commitment.’

‘This is a day of justice in America,’ Harris said. She called the family ‘real leaders when we needed you.’

‘History will look back at this moment and know that it was an inflection moment,’ she said. ‘We’re going to make something good come out of this tragedy, okay?’ she said. 

Then Biden chimed back in, ‘When we do it, we’re going to put you on Air Force One and get you here,’ prompting laughs.

Floyd’s younger brother Philonise, who had taken a knee at the courthouse steps at the start of the trial, was in court to hear the verdict read.

He hugged Attorney General Keith Ellison and trial attorney Jerry Blackwell, whose voice was the first and last heard by the jury as he delivered both the state’s opening statement and their final rebuttal.

Moments later the family held a press conference outside the courtroom with their lawyer Crump, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

‘Today, we are able to breathe again,’ younger brother Philonise said. ‘Justice for George means freedom for all.’

Tears streamed down his face as he likened Floyd to the 1955 Mississippi lynching victim Emmett Till, except that this time there were cameras around to show the world what happened.

Floyd’s six-year-old daughter Gianna was in attendance for the press conference as well, along with other members of the family.

‘Say his name!’ Floyd’s relatives chanted as they gathered together. ‘George Floyd!’

Another brother, Terrence Floyd, said today was important not just for their family but for America’s history.

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

Those sentiments were echoed by former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle who said that the jury had done ‘the right thing’ in finding Chauvin guilty.

In a joint statement, they said: ‘For almost a year, Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation.

‘But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?

‘In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.’

The pair called for ‘concrete reforms’ in policing and for the elimination of racial bias from the nation’s criminal justice system.

‘Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied,’ he said.

British prime minister Boris Johnson also tweeted his response, writing: ‘I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict. My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd’s family and friends.’

Later in a televised address, Biden said that the conviction ‘can be a giant step forward in the march towards justice in America.’ 

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