Jack McDevitt and Daniel Medwed Featured in News@Northeastern: Derek Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict is a Step toward Justice and Police Reform – But It’s Not the End of Racism in the U.S.
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck until he died, was found guilty of all three counts related to Floyd’s murder on Tuesday.
Chauvin and his lawyers claimed that he was using a standard restraining technique when he knelt on Floyd’s neck last May—something that was disputed during the trial by a lieutenant in charge of teaching use-of-force techniques in Minnesota.
Police departments around the country have already stopped training officers to use chokeholds, said Jack McDevitt, professor of the practice in criminology and criminal justice and head of the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern.
McDevitt said he was optimistic that the verdict might portend a broader change in policing, as well.
“I hope this is the beginning of a change where we, as a society, feel that police need to be held accountable for misconduct,” he said. “It’s the whole profession that needs to change, not just this one trial.”
The jury deliberated for roughly 10 hours after the trial and returned unanimous verdicts on all three counts.
The first charge, second-degree murder, was the top count in Chauvin’s case, said Daniel Medwed, university distinguished professor of law and criminal justice at Northeastern.