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The Chauvin Verdict: A Look At What's Changed 1 Year On

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Wednesday, April 20, marks one year since a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.

People rejoiced outside the Hennepin County Government Center last April as word spread a jury found Chauvin guilty.

Steve Floyd is with Agape Movement, a community group that's had a presence at 38th and Chicago since George Floyd's murder.

"The trauma is still there. I mean, I don't think anybody has took their foot, you know, off the brake, you know, to start moving," Floyd said.

He recognizes some reform has happened -- but says there's a ways to go.

"These are things that should have changed a long time ago, so it's not like a 'rah-rah' that these things are starting to change," he said.

Minneapolis made use-of-force changes following the May 2020 murder, and the department banned chokeholds and neck restraints. Officers who witness unauthorized force are required to report it and have a duty to intervene.

Verdict Read Derek Chauvin Reaction
(credit: CBS)

In the year following the guilty verdict and sentence, city residents voted to keep the police department. The city charter structure moved to a strong mayor system, with the city council focus on legislative functions.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced his retirement and stepped away from the department early this year. Amelia Huffman was named interim chief.

The city recently banned no-knock warrants following the death of Amir Locke during a police raid.

Attorney General Keith Ellison's office prosecuted Chauvin. He says the verdict provided accountability for the family and community, and there's more work to do to build trust.

"I am very pleased there's been accountability for the family of George Floyd. They went through a horrific, traumatic event with the loss of their loved one. I'm glad there's accountability for the community. But I am also, as I am pleased that we are finally seeing some level of accountability, reminded that the federal government has not taken any action," Ellison said. "The George Floyd Justice and Policing Act has yet to be passed, but yet again, the state legislature has taken some important, decisive action. You know, they banned chokeholds, they banned neck restraints, they stopped warrior-style policing, those things are good. Duty to intervene, also officer wellness, which is very important. And there's been some changes at the Police Officers and Standards Training Board to try to bring that higher level of accountability ... We've just got to keep on pushing, we just can't quit, we can't stop."

The U.S. Department of Justice's pattern-or-practices investigation into MPD is open and ongoing.

Chauvin also pleaded guilty to violating Floyd's civil rights in a federal case. In February, a federal jury found the three other former officers guilty. The officers' state trial is scheduled for June.


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