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EXCLUSIVE: George Floyd’s aunt reflects on one year since Derek Chauvin was found guilty

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –A year ago, former Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd.

“I remember it just like yesterday. I remember everything, the courtroom,” said Angela Harrelson, Floyd’s aunt.

On May 25, 2020, Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. While pinned down, Floyd said multiple times, “I can’t breathe.”

A jury of 12 people found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

“I said, ‘Lord, yes,’ cause you know this verdict, we had to get this right. I mean yes, his death changed the world and millions of people protested. I said, ‘but God we got to get this right,’ because this is what is going to send this message. And they got it right,” Harrelson said.

The trial involved three weeks of testimony, 45 witnesses, and at least 10 hours of jury deliberation.

“The biggest moment of the trial that stuck with me personally was just being in the room as George Floyd’s brother took the stand. And talked about them growing up, and talked about their relationship with their mother. That hit me personally the most just because it reminded me so much of me and my brothers. It was almost like a mirror where I could see how this could possibly be one of us. So, that hit close to home to me,” said Brandon Mitchell, a juror in the trial.

The verdict gave Floyd’s family some relief.

“I would love to speak with the jurors, and touch base with them. And just say, ‘thank you,’” Harrelson said.

“To hear that from the family is always a great feeling, to feel like they got justice for their family, to get that closer. I think it’s phenomenal for them,” said Mitchell.

Harrelson said that if she could speak with Chauvin, this is what she would say.

“You didn’t even see him as a human being. But you know what Mr. Chauvin, he saw you as one,” she said. “All he was doing Mr. Chauvin was asking for help.”

Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal charges, of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao, and Thomas Lane are the three other former officers involved in Floyd’s death. Those three were also convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights in a federal trial.

The criminal trial for Kueng, Thao, and Lane is set for June 13.

“Lord, I don’t want to do this again. But you know what, people have uplifted me this far and realizing all the love and support that came around the world,” Harrelson said.

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