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Credit: WIVB

The verdict is in and former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty in the death of George Floyd. A jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota, found Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter, according to WIVB. The verdict comes after the jury deliberated for 10 hours over the past two days. The trial lasted three weeks. Chauvin had pleaded not guilty. He was found guilty of multiple charges, including unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On the second-degree murder charge, Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison. The defense had tried to argue that George died due to illegal drugs, heart disease, high blood pressure, and the adrenaline caused by the confrontation.

George, an unarmed Black man, was killed by Chauvin on May 25, 2020. Police were called to a convenience store, where he was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin kneeled on George's neck, while Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe, cried out for his mother, and pleaded for his life. The murder, which was caught on camera, shows Chauvin using excessive force, disregarding George's pleas, as well as witnesses' pleas for him to stop.

George's death sparked national outrage and reform, although there is still a very far way to go. It breaks my heart that George had to die for change to come. It does give me hope that so many people, not just African-Americans, know the fight for justice and equality must continue.

Several political leaders who represent Western New York have reacted, including Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz,  Senator Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator for New York and the Senate Majority Leader, as well as U.S. Senator for New York, Kirsten Gillibrand.

Buffalonians and Western New Yorkers also took to Twitter to speak on the verdict and react to the news:

 

Black Lives Matter Art