Since Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd yesterday, people have been commending the teenage girl who filmed and posted the horrifying incident online, thus making it one of the most viewed videos in the world.
Here's the full story...
Warning: This article contains details that some readers may find upsetting.
Now, it's been a crucial month for America's justice system.
Derek Chauvin's highly-anticipated murder trial kicked off in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Courthouse on March 29th.
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started proceedings by playing the horrifying video of the moment the accused, Derek Chauvin, dug his knee into George Floyd's neck as he cried out, "I can't breathe."
As the trial of Derek Chauvin begins, my thoughts are with the Floyd family and every American impacted by racist p… https://t.co/VS7xyG75Tz— George Takei (@George Takei)1617063128.0
Special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement:
"You can believe your eyes. That it's homicide, it's murder."
Over the past couple of weeks, many people have been called forward to testify...
Including a 911 operator who witnessed the ordeal via CCTV.
"You're going to learn that there was a 911 dispatcher. Her name is Jena Scurry," Blackwell told the jury. "There was a fixed police camera that was trained on this particular scene. She could see through the camera what was going on."
Scurry witnessed the entire ordeal...
And was the one to call the police on the police.
Fearing that Chauvin and the 3 other officers who stood by were taking things too far, Scurry called Minneapolis Sgt. David Pleoger, who oversaw the officers involved in the arrest in progress.
Never-before-seen bodycam footage from the events of May 25th was also presented to the jury...
And gave fresh details of the minutes leading up to Floyd's arrest, as well as the moment he was confronted by the police officers.
As reported by BBC News, the court was shown bodycam footage from Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, all of whom are facing aiding and abetting charges.
In the footage, Floyd can be seen sitting behind the wheel of his car, begging the officers not to shoot him.
At one point, one of the officers pulls his gun as Floyd continues to plead with them.
Floyd was visibly very distressed by the presence of the police officers, and can be heard saying:
"Please don't shoot me, please, man… I just lost my mom."
He can then be heard trying to assure the officers that he'll "do anything you tell me to"...
"I'm not a bad guy, man."
Of course, the footage was utterly chilling to watch...
And days on from that revelation, the prosecution called an outside expert witness to testify about Floyd's cause of death.
Prosecutors say that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck contributed to his death...
While Chauvin's defense continued to argue that Floyd's use of illicit drugs and his underlying medical conditions were the key factors.
Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary and critical medicine doctor with forty-five years of experience in the field also testified, and he wholeheartedly supported the theory that Floyd was killed as a result of Chauvin's pressure on his neck.
He confirmed that Floyd died due to a low level of oxygen caused by the combination of being handcuffed in the prone position on the ground and Chauvin's left knee on his neck and right knee on his back, compromising his ability to breathe.
"Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen, and this caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop."
The jury was also shown an image where Chauvin's toe was seen lifted off the ground while his knee was on Floyd's neck.
“The toe of his boot is no longer touching the ground, this means that all of his body weight is being directed dow… https://t.co/8Zjyw5EtNP— Omar Jimenez (@Omar Jimenez)1617895882.0
This meant 91.5 pounds, half of Chauvin's weight, was directly compressing Floyd's neck at that point, Dr.Tobin said.
The evidence continued to stack up against Chauvin...
And, clearly in panic mode, his defense continued to stress that Floyd had already put himself at risk by swallowing drugs and resisting officers trying to arrest him - factors that compounded his vulnerability to a diseased heart, raising sufficient doubt that Chauvin should be acquitted.
However, despite his defence's best efforts...
Things didn't go in Chauvin's favor.
Yesterday on April 20th, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
Breaking News: Derek Chauvin was found guilty of two counts of murder on Tuesday in the death of George Floyd.… https://t.co/CmUIkZTsdq— The New York Times (@The New York Times)1618953907.0
The jury found the former police officer guilty on all 3 counts of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Millions from all around the world tuned in to witness the live footage of Judge Peter Cahill reading out Chauvin's guilty verdict...
And the ex-cop was seen sitting motionlessly and calm as the verdicts were read out.
Since the news broke, people from all over the world have been rejoicing.
Joy, tears and calls for change across the US after Derek Chauvin is found guilty of George Floyd's death — in pict… https://t.co/6TC0N3ALEX— Al Jazeera English (@Al Jazeera English)1618994165.0
Finally, justice has been served.
But there's something else that people have been celebrating...
Today we celebrate. It's a win to see #derekchauvin being charged guilty. Tomorrow the fight continues for every ot… https://t.co/D7otqIbU1B— noomi (@noomi)1619001849.0
And that's the teenage girl who made Floyd's murder go viral in the first place.
@mmpadellan Darnella Fraizer is the HERO in all of this A innocent 17yr girl had the sense and strength to video F… https://t.co/VzgnH7rNnb— @MnTrueBlue (@@MnTrueBlue)1618848718.0
I cannot help but feel for Darnella Fraizer, the then 17! year old girl who had the courage to lift her phone, stan… https://t.co/I7PY8BomxD— Jim (@Jim)1618955984.0
Darnella Fraizer is a TRUE AMERICAN HERO. I pray she gets recognized in the White House. THANK YOU #GeorgeFloyd— Crosby Tatum (@Crosby Tatum)1618956065.0
Remember: none of Chauvin’s colleagues turned him in. He murdered a man in broad daylight and we are here today bec… https://t.co/FVl3GdEXSR— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel Jollett)1618954946.0
Bless you, Darnella Fraizer! May your wildest dreams come true and your impact never be forgotten.— Denisha DeLane (@Denisha DeLane)1618956357.0
Darnella Frazier, aged seventeen at the time, was walking with her 9-year-old cousin to get snacks on May 25th last year when she witnessed Floyd being arrested by the police officer.
She then captured the harrowing final moments of Floyd's life where he begged Chauvin to stop pressing his knee on his neck because he couldn't breathe.
The teenager testified at Chauvin's trial last month, where she became emotional as she described seeing Floyd "suffering" and begging for his life.
And, after Chauvin's conviction was announced, Frazier wrote on Facebook that "justice was served."
"I just cried so hard," Frazier said of the verdict. "The last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing through the roof."
"But to know GUILTY ON ALL THREE CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU," Frazier added. "George Floyd we did it!!"
Darnella, you're amazing.