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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 21, 2021 2:00am-2:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughanjones with special coverage of the trial of derek chauvin for the murder of george floyd. we the jury, in the above entitled matter, as to count one, unintentional second—degree murder while committing a felony, find the defendant guilty. a jury decides the former police officer killed george floyd last year after he was filmed kneeling on his neck — he faces up to a0 years injail. mr floyd's supporters welcome the verdict outside the minneapolis court. shortly after the verdict, president biden gave his reaction. his legacy will not just be about his death but what we must do in his memory.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the former police officer derek chauvin has been found guilty of two charges of murder and one of manslaughter for the death of george floyd, the african american man he pinned to the ground for more than nine minutes last may. the historic outcome, at a court in minneapolis, comes after a three week trial. it's seen as a landmark test of police accountability and a pivotal moment in us race relations. a warning — you may find some images in ourfirst report upsetting. here's our north america correspondent, nick bryant. history turns on these kind of moments. and in the trial of derek
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chauvin, it wasn't just america yearning to know the outcome but also the wider world. on the second day of its deliberations, thejury delivered its verdict. verdict, count one. we the jury, in the above entitled matter, as to count one, unintentional second—degree murder while committing a felony, find the defendant guilty. verdict, count two. we the jury, in the above entitled matter, as to count two, third—degree murder, perpetrating an eminently dangerous attack, find the defendant guilty. verdict, count three. we the jury, in the above entitled matter, as to count three, second—degree manslaughter, culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk, find the defendant guilty. i can't breathe! the most emotive evidence presented during the trial was the video of george floyd's killing... that showed the brutality of the white police officer, sound that revealed how george floyd uttered the words "i can't breathe" almost 30 times... i cannot breathe. ..shocking video that, in the midst of a global
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pandemic, went viral. police brutality, a disease america has never cured. even as the jury was considering its verdict, protesters congregated outside the court. not since the trial of oj simpson has a verdict been the focus of such concentration and concern. and it even brought about an extraordinary presidential intervention, joe biden describing how he'd telephoned the floyd family last night. they're a good family, and they're calling for peace and tranquility no matter what that verdict is. i'm praying the verdict is the right verdict, which is... i think it's overwhelming in my view. minneapolis looks like a garrison town. the boots of 3,000 members of the national guard are on the streets. cities across america are boarding up, in the knowledge this verdict will reverberate throughout the land. the spot where george floyd was killed felt early on this morning like the eye of a brewing storm. for activists, this whole area has become a landmark
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of inequality, a haunting reminder of america's racial breach. will this guilty verdict calm the angry mood? will it bring a sense ofjustice? nick bryant, bbc news, minneapolis. george floyd's brother philonise said this trial had brought back heartbreaking memories. today, you have cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother. it was a motion picture the world seeing his life being extinguished, and i could do nothing but watch, especially in that court room, over and over and over again as my brother was murdered. times, they're getting
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harder every day. 10 miles away from here, mr wright, daunte wright, he should still be here. we have to always understand that we have to march, we have to do this for life. we have to protest because this is a never—ending cycle. reverend al always told me we've got to keep fighting. i'm going to put up a fight every day because i'm notjust fighting for george anymore, i'm fighting for everybody around this world. i get calls, i get dm's, people from brazil, from ghana, from germany — everybody, london, italy, they're all saying the same thing. we won't be able to breathe until you're able to breathe. today, we are able
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to breathe again. (applause). i told you, we would getjustice and we are still going to fight for you too. we're going to fight for everybody. thank you all so much just for giving us this time because we are here and we're not going anywhere, and i want to thank all of the protesters, all of the attorneys who stood up, all of the activists who stepped up and many who think they aren't activists but advocates, thank you all. because justice for george means freedom for all. there was reaction right across the country. us vice—president kamala harris spoke to the american people following the verdict. today, we feel a sigh of relief. still, it cannot take away the pain. a measure ofjustice isn't the same as equaljustice. this verdict brings us a step closer and the fact is, we still have work to do.
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we still must reform of the system. last summer, together with senator cory booker and representative karen bass, i introduced the george floyd justice and policing act. this bill would hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities. this bill is part of george floyd's legacy. the president and i will continue to urge the senate to pass this legislation, not as a panacea for every problem but as a start. president biden gave his reaction to today's verdict. the guilty verdict does not bring back george. but, through the family's pain, they're finding purpose
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so george's legacy will not just be about his death but about what we must do in his memory. i also spoke to gianna, george's young daughter again. when i met her last year and i said this before at his funeral, i told her how brave i thought she was. and i knelt down and held her hand. i said, daddy is looking down on you, he's so proud. she said to me then and i'll neverforget it, "daddy changed the world". i told her this afternoon daddy did change the world. let that be his legacy, a legacy of peace not violence, of justice. the bbc�*s larry madowo has been in minneapolis throughout the trial, spending time at the place where george floyd was murdered. he described the reaction when
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the guilty verdict came in. there has been a collective sigh of relief here in george floyd square. i'm standing moments away from where george floyd died and we saw some tears, somejubilation. anger but also a realisation that there is a lot more work to be done. over here, when the announcement was made, somebody shouted, �*guilty�* and then the applause spontaneously broke out. they were clapping and hugging each other, and they were celebrating that moment. so unexpected, especially with a jury returning a verdict injust 11 hours and a guilty verdict on three counts was so historic because derek chauvin becomes the first ever white policeman in the state of minnesota to be convicted for killing a black person. i don't know how mobile you are or your camera operator is but can you show us around, give us a flavour of what is happening right now? i will show you what is happening here. there are a couple
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of speeches happening here and we have been hearing them essentially since the announcement came out. there's been people who have organised this place. they say george floyd square is a place for community, a place for public grief and a place for protest. the people who are allowed in here are supposed to respect that, listen to their feelings, and listen to the black pain and trauma on display here. 0ver there you see cup foods, this is where the entire saga began where george floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill. 0n the other side is the gas station where we saw some of the security footage from the speedway gas station which has become the centre of the activism around the case of george floyd.
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not sure if you can see but the board says �*justice for george floyd.�* 0n the board, you would usually see gas prices. they have been counting down the days of the trial, day 13, 14. today, they put a new notice, justice served? and that question mark is important because in the eyes of the activists here, they are saying that lots more needs to be done to dismantle systemic racism. an activist told us that this warrior like training police get to deal with the community and it's like dealing with an enemy and this needs to stop. this verdict does not change that. that's a really fascinating insight into what is happening there and also some of the kind of questions that are now being asked about what exactly does happen next. you mentioned there, changing the culture, changing the attitudes of policing. what is the level of confidence here that that does mark a significant change? it is a step in the right direction, i have heard here. the activists who set up this space to close down the street so this place where george floyd died can become a memorial says that they have 2a demands for the minneapolis
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police department and the state of minnesota. this one is just the 24th. there are 23 others but all across america, trial and the verdict here, that there is a lot more than needs to be done. for instance, if a police officer is convicted of crime in onejurisdiction or if they are fired in a different police department, they can move to a different state and get hired again. there is no national register. there is a law called qualified immunity which gives policeman wide latitude for misconduct on the job so if they kill someone the law essentially protects them. further is the unofficial blue wall of silence. law enforcement people, police, protect each other. they never testify against each other except in this case where the minneapolis police chief and many in his department testified directly against derek chauvin. can we take a step, i suppose a step out and a look
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at a wider perspective here because this is notjust about the minutia of policing or even the minutia of what happened in this particular case. this is a court case that has caught the attention of people right around the world for what it represents. the death of george floyd began a national reckoning with race here in north america and in many parts of the world. it began with a video shot by a 17—year—old girl, darnella frazer, who testified in court and told the court that sometimes she stays up at night apologising to george floyd for not having done more to help him. even though that video is the basis and the genesis for this guilty conviction here. she also changed the world. today, to hear president biden say the term, systemic racism, because president trump would never have said those words, even that is a step that is extraordinary in this america and how much is changing for president biden to be standing next to the first black vice president of united states. 0ur our thanks to larry in minneapolis stay with us on bbc news for much more on this story.
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the stars and stripes at half—mast outside columbine high. the school sealed off, the bodies of the dead still inside. i never thought that they would actually go through with it. choir singing one of the most successful singer—song writers of all time, the american pop star prince has died at the age of 57. i was — it's hard to believe it. i didn't believe it. we just — he was just here saturday. for millions of americans, j the death of richard nixon in a new york hospital has i meant conflicting emotions. a national day of mourning next wednesday, sitting somehow. uneasily with the abiding memories of the shame i of watergate. and lift off of the space shuttle discovery with the hubble space telescope, our window on the universe.
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this is bbc news, the latest headlines: the former police officer derek chauvin is found guilty of two charges of murder and one of manslaughter in the death of george floyd, the african american man he violently arrested last may. mr floyd's supporters welcome the verdict outside the court in minneapolis. this is what minnesota attorney—general, keith ellison, had to say after the verdict was announced. since the investigation and prosecution of this case last may happened, everyone has pursued one goal, justice. we pursued justice wherever it led. when i became the lead prosecutor for the case, i asked for time and patience to review the facts.
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gather evidence, and prosecute for the murder of george floyd to the fullest extent the law allowed. i want to thank the community for giving us that time and allowing us to do our work. that long, hard, painstaking work has culminated today. i would not call today's verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. but it is accountability. which is the first step towards justice. and now the cause ofjustice is in your hands, and when i say your hands, i mean the hands of the people of the united states. george floyd mattered. he was loved by his family and his friends. his death shocked the conscience of our community, our country, the whole world. he was loved by his family and friends. but that isn't why he mattered.
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he mattered because he was a human being. and there is no way we can turn away from that reality. the people who stopped and raised their voices on may 25 2020 were a bouquet of humanity, a phrase i stole from my friend, jerry blackwell. a bouquet of humanity, all young men and a bouquet of humanity, old, young, men and women, black and white, a man from the neighbourhood just walking to get a drink. a child going to buy snack with her cousin, an off—duty firefighter on her way to a community garden, brave young women, teenagers who press record on their cellphones. why did they stop? they didn't know george floyd. they didn't know we had a beautifulfamily.
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they didn't know he had been had been a great athlete or he was a proud father or had people in his life he loved him. they stopped and raised their voices and they even challenge their authority because they saw his humanity, they stopped and they raised their voices because they knew that what they were seeing was wrong. dr rayshawn ray is professor of sociology at the university of maryland. dr ray's research focusses on racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police—civilian relations and criminal justice reform. thank you for coming on the programme. thank you for having me as always. what do you make of the fallout, just the verdict itself, how significant a moment is this? i verdict itself, how significant a moment is this?— verdict itself, how significant a moment is this? i think it's significant- — a moment is this? i think it's significant. i— a moment is this? i think it's significant. i mean, - a moment is this? i think it's significant. i mean, this - a moment is this? i think it's significant. i mean, this case was a litmus test on race relations in the united states and i think police civilian relations and moving us towards a point of healing but make no
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mistake, this case was a slam dunk from the beginning. everyone saw what we saw on the video. we've seen ample evidence and as the ball went into the net, what people were wondering is whether or not the basket was actually going to count as the goal was scored. so this was a case in which overwhelmingly this should have been the outcome. it is an exemplar and not the norm. what i mean? all of the components that would have to happen to convicted police officer in the united states did. it was overwhelming video evidence, numerous witnesses, there were police officers who testified against derek chauvin and then of course, we had a very diversejury and keith ellison assembled an amazing team of prosecutors to handle this case. this is not typically what happens on the other thousand cases where police officers killed someone in the
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united states every year. that is interesting _ united states every year. that is interesting and _ united states every year. that is interesting and going back to when this happened a year ago or so, you and i talked a lot in this programme in the way of the protests, the violence on the streets, the riots, the atmosphere. you spelt out the problems in your opinion, the changes that needed to be made. were you confident at that stage back then that we would be where we are right now with this verdict?— verdict? look, if the criminal justice system operated - verdict? look, if the criminal justice system operated in i justice system operated in theory the way it's supposed to, yes, but we know that is not always the case. that is the reason why these key components were so important. we didn't know what the jewellery composition was going to look like, we didn't know the way that keith ellison was going to be able to bring together a prosecution team at what we did know is if those things lined up, there was a high likelihood that derek chauvin was going to be convicted of murder because thatis convicted of murder because that is exactly what it was.
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again, people have to realise that rarely are police officers actually charged or even convicted of these particular crimes, and right as the derek chauvin trial was happening, right down the street, a stone �*s throw away in a suburb of minneapolis, daunte wright was killed by 26—year—old veteran who said she meant to pull her taser but actually pulled her gun. we know right down the road in chicago, illinois, adam toledo was killed by a police officer and a 15—year—old girl was killed in columbus, ohio as the verdict for derek chauvin�*s murder was being handed down so we see that these are isolated in incidents. in a court of law, it is individual trials and people want institutional change. fin and people want institutional chan . e. . and people want institutional chance. ., , ., ., change. on that institutional chan . e, change. on that institutional change. we _ change. on that institutional change, we heard _ change. on that institutional change, we heard kamala i change. on that institutional - change, we heard kamala harris talk about it, trying to make
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things different. how confident are you that will happen? i would say i am consciously optimistic. we know the george floyd justice and policing act passed the house of representatives a second time. the senate has to break it up. it's up to democrats to convince chamber republicans to join them or bust the filibuster but the george floyd justice and policing act is significant because it essentially repeals qualified immunity, allowing law enforcement to be held accountable. in the state level, we are seeing changes. in maryland, we saw they repealed the law—enforcement bill of rights which allows qualified immunity to on steroids. we are seeing qualified immunity being struck in new york city, colorado, new mexico. 0n in new york city, colorado, new mexico. on a little levels. there is a lot of momentum and it will increase accountability.
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let's take a moment to look at how the death of george floyd at the hands of derek chauvin sparked protests and movements notjust in the us, but all around the world. paul adams reports. when george floyd died, it wasn't just america that erupted. from auckland to iceland, from brazil to belgium, the reaction was global. why should a single man's face and his dying words appear on the bombed—out wreckage of a home in syria? i can't breathe, i can't breathe! george floyd! all: (chant) george floyd! the virus i'm referring to is called racism. for many, it was about the police. in france, protesters recalled the death of adama traore four years earlier, a black man dying in police custody. in new zealand, maoris talked of structural racism. and in brazil, police violence —
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mostly against black people — brought thousands onto the streets. black lives matter, a phrase and a movement with its roots in america, now swept across more than 60 countries. but this was also about history and a reckoning, especially with empire. in the english city of bristol, the statue of a slave trader was torn down, dumped in the harbour. in belgium, protesters targeted king leopold ii, held responsible for the death of millions in what is now the democratic republic of congo. and with the demonstrations came a powerful gesture. taking the knee wasn't new — the american football player colin kaepernick had first used it to protest police violence in 2016. now, sports men and women around the world followed suit. 0ther faces and other names have ricocheted across the world
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in the age of the internet. in iran, the dying face of neda agha—soltan drew worldwide attention to demands for democracy. and when a tunisian street vendor, mohamed bouazizi, set fire to himself, he lit a spark that raged across the arab world. but america is different, not perhaps the beacon of old but still a bellwether and a mirror. its conflicts, prejudices and crises echo around the world. paul adams, bbc news.
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hello. the weather is not expected to change very much over the next few days. the kind of weather where strong spring sunshine can make it feel quite warm by day, but at night, clear skies can still allow it to get cold and frosty. but it will remain mostly dry through the rest of the week. now, on the earlier satellite image, you can see this stripe of cloud here. this is a weakening weather front, not much rain left on it, but certainly more in the way of cloud as this sinks down across england and wales through the first part of wednesday. also some mist and murk, and low cloud lapping onto some southern coasts of england. so a bit of a grey start for parts of england and wales, even with the odd spot of rain, but it will brighten up with some sunny spells into the afternoon. scotland and northern ireland having a sunny but chilly start, and keeping hold of some sunshine through the day.
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just more in the way of cloud and maybe the odd shower getting into shetland. quite a breezy day for many, and where you're exposed to that breeze along the east coast, temperatures may only get to 8—10 celsius. highest temperatures likely to be across the far southwest at 16—17 celsius, but here, there could just be the odd afternoon shower. any showers will fade through the evening, and through the night into the early hours of thursday, you can see long, clear spells across the country, allowing it to get cold. where you see the blue colours on the map, that's where we expect temperatures below freezing, but quite widely there'll be a touch of frost to take us into thursday morning. but for the end of the week, high pressure really will assert its influence right on top of the british isles. but just around the southern flank of that high, we will have some quite brisk winds blowing across the channel islands, the south—west of england, also affecting some southern and eastern coasts. but as you can see, largely cloud—free skies to start thursday, i think we'll see a bit of patchy
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cloud bubbling up through the day, but generally speaking, quite a lot of sunshine. highest temperatures in the west at 15—17 celsius, but for eastern and also southern coasts, actually, particularly where we have that breeze in the south, it's going to feel on the chilly side. still quite windy down towards the south and the southwest on friday. a bit of cloud across scotland maybe squeezing out the odd spot of rain, but elsewhere it's dry with long spells of sunshine. a bit warmer by this stage, 17—18 celsius in some western areas. and, as we head into the weekend, it stays largely dry, more of that strong sunshine by day but still the chance of some frosty nights.
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this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughanjones with special coverage
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of the trial of derek chauvin for the murder of george floyd. we the jury, in the above entitled matter, as to count one, unintentional second—degree murder while committing a felony, find the defendant guilty. a jury decides the former minneapolis police officer killed george floyd last year by kneeling on his neck — he could face up to a0 years injail. mr floyd's supporters welcome the verdict outside the court. president biden has given his reaction to the verdict. his legacy will not just be about his death but what we must do in his memory.
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the former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin has been


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