ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - On Tuesday, a jury voted to convict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.
People in support and opposition to the verdict are expressing surprise. Albany Attorney, Mark Brimberry, provided a legal perspective on that verdict.
The right to use force is one factor that contributes to the rarity of police murder convictions, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. The Derek Chauvin verdict was very uncommon.
“It’s extremely rare. The officer was ultimately charged with manslaughter, a variety of counts of manslaughter, all three of which resulted in guilty verdicts. In my understanding, it’s the only time it’s happened in the state of Minnesota,” said Brimberry.
He was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Brimberry said he thinks there were two primary contributions to that conviction.
“I think the video of the incident. It removed the case at trial from being a swearing contest. In other words, ‘no I didn’t, yes you did’ The video unequivocally showed what happened.”
He said the second factor was the public sentiment.
“It created a huge movement as you are well aware of. That will be intact for generations to come,” Brimberry added.
The video of George Floyd’s murder was shared across the world. It sparked global protests against police brutality.
Police officers are also rarely charged with murder, as seen in a study from Bowling Green University. That study also says jurors are usually hesitant to second guess a cop’s decision-making.