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Keith Ellison Says 'History Of Unaccountability' Led To Doubts About Chauvin Verdict

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Sentencing for Derek Chauvin is scheduled for June 16.

He faces up to 40 years in prison.

The verdict is the first time a white police officer has been convicted of killing a Black person in Minnesota.

As Esme Murphy reports in Talking Points, it was a verdict that many doubted would ever happen.

The celebrations in the street and at George Floyd Square after the verdict in the Chauvin case were fueled in part by feelings for some of disbelief that Chauvin had actually been convicted of all three counts including felony murder.

The doubts about the outcome were widely held. The prosecution team itself fought hard to get a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin added during jury selection, giving jurors an option between the second-degree felony murder and the second-degree manslaughter charge.

Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the prosecution team, was featured on Sunday night's "60 Minutes" and was a guest on "WCCO Sunday Morning".

"The real reason people had their doubts is that Breonna Taylor, no action at all, Rodney King people remember that the jury went to Simi Valley Not Guilty and they had to have federal action, Walter Scott more recently," Ellison said. "There has just been a history of unaccountability and people were operating on that."

The three other officers charged in the case, Tou Thao, Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are scheduled to go on trial together starting Aug. 23. Right now they are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

You can watch "WCCO Sunday Morning" with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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