Derek Chauvin Put on Suicide Watch Following Guilty Verdict
Ex-police officer found guilty of George Floyd's murder, taken to maximum security prison
After being found guilty on all three charges of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, former police officer Derek Chauvin has been taken to maximum security prison and placed on suicide watch.
As the verdict was read out on Tuesday in the Hennepin County courtroom, Chauvin looked on with no visible emotion.
Jurors had spent three weeks listening to testimony about the day Floyd died during an arrest on May 25, 2020.
The court determined that Floyd was killed under the weight of 45-year-old Chauvin's knee on his neck.
After just ten-and-a-half hours of deliberation, the jury returned its verdict to find Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
After Judge Peter Cahill immediately revoked Chauvin's bail pending sentencing, the ex-cop was taken in handcuffs from the courtroom.
He was transferred to Oak Park Heights, Minnesota's only maximum-security prison, according to The Daily Mail.
Chauvin faces a minimum sentence of 12.5 years and a maximum of 40 years if he serves terms for each charge concurrently.
If served consecutively, he faces between 29 and 75 years.
No prisoner has ever escaped from Oak Park Heights which houses around 500 of the most dangerous inmates in the country, 25 miles east of Minneapolis, on the border with Wisconsin.
Chauvin is being closely watched by guards at the prison to ensure his safety, not just as a suicide risk, but also from other inmates with violent criminal histories.
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.
The hierarchy, coupled with Chauvin's infamy as a police officer, means he will undoubtedly require bolstered protection.
Cheers rose from the crowds that had gathered outside the courthouse and down at the intersection of 38th and Chicago, now known as George Floyd Square.
Cup Foods, the store in which Floyd was last seen alive, shuttered its doors ahead of the decision.
Joe Biden told the nation that the verdict sends the message that no one is "above the law."
He slammed American society while demanding new action to honor Floyd, describing the killing as a "stain on the nation's soul."
"No one should be above the law," Biden said.
"And today's verdict sends that message.
"But it's not enough.
"It can't stop here."