Jury convicts white former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder and manslaughter of African American George Floyd, an incident last May that sparked protests against racial injustice around the world.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man's neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the US.
Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for decades.
The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial ones came back with its verdict on Tuesday after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days.
Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
His face was obscured by a Covid-19 mask, and little reaction could be seen beyond his eyes darting around the courtroom.
His bail was immediately revoked and he was led away with his hands cuffed behind his back.
A crowd gathered outside the heavily guarded downtown Minneapolis courtroom erupted in cheers when the verdicts were announced after Chauvin's three-week trial.
High security around court
The verdict was read in a courthouse ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops, in a city on edge against another round of unrest, not just because of the Chauvin case but because of the deadly police shooting of a young Black man, Daunte Wright, in a Minneapolis suburb April 11.
The jurors identities were kept secret and will not be released until the judge decides it is safe to do so.
Three other former Minneapolis officers charged with aiding and abetting murder in Floyd's death will stand trial in August.
Minneapolis on edge
Floyd died last May after Chauvin, a 45-year-old now-fired white officer, pinned his knee on or close to the 46-year-old Black man's neck for about 9 1/2 minutes as Floyd gasped that he couldn't breathe and onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off.
Minneapolis city has been on edge in recent days, not just over the Chauvin case but over the deadly police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, in the nearby Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on April 11.
Biden reacts on verdict
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and first lady Jill Biden called members of the Floyd family moments after the verdict, according to video posted by family attorney Ben Crump.
Biden told the family, "Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice."
He added, "We're all so relieved."
Biden said he hoped the verdict would give momentum to congressional police reform efforts.
According to the White House, Biden and Harris watched the verdict live from the private dining room just off the Oval Office.
"It shouldn't be really even questioned whether there will be an acquittal or a verdict that doesn't meet the scale of the crime that was committed," Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, said in Brooklyn Center earlier on Tuesday.
The congresswoman said the Chauvin case looks open-and-shut.
Guilty verdicts could mark a turning point in the fight for racial equality, she said.
"We are holding on to one another for support. Hopefully this verdict will come soon and the community will start the process of healing," Omar said.
'Turning point in history'
Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump hailed the verdict as a landmark victory for civil rights that could be a springboard to legislation to reform police forces in their dealings with minorities.
"Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd's family. This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement," Crump tweeted.
"Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"
'Justice was served'
At the intersection where Floyd was pinned down, a crowd chanted, "One down, three to go!", a reference to the three other fired Minneapolis police officers facing trial in August on charges of aiding and abetting murder in Floyd's death.
Janay Henry, who lives nearby, said she felt grateful and relieved.
"I feel grounded. I can feel my feet on the concrete," she said, adding that she was looking forward to the "next case with joy and optimism and strength."
An ecstatic Whitney Lewis leaned halfway out a car window in a growing traffic jam of revelers waving a Black Lives Matter flag. "Justice was served," the 32-year-old from Minneapolis said. "It means George Floyd can now rest."
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, who pounded away at Chauvin's witnesses during the trial, said the verdict sends a message to Floyd's family "that he was somebody, that his life matters."
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison commended the bystanders at Floyd's slow-motion death who "raised their voices because they knew that what they were seeing was wrong, and then "told the whole world" what they saw.
Ellison read off the names of others killed in encounters with police and said: "This has to end. We need true justice. That's not one case. That's social transformation that says no one is beneath the law and no one is above it."