MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that touched off worldwide protests, violence and a reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for decades.

The 12-member jury -- six of them white and six Black or multiracial -- came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

His face was obscured by a COVID-19 mask, and little reaction could be seen beyond his eyes darting around the courtroom.

His bail was immediately revoked and he was led away with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The verdict was read in a courthouse ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops, in a city on edge against another round of unrest since the deadly police shooting on April 11 of Daunte Wright, who was Black, in a Minneapolis suburb.

Following the Chauvin ruling, the jurors' identities will not be released until the judge decides it is safe to do so.

Three other former Minneapolis officers charged with aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death are scheduled to stand trial in August.

Floyd, 46, died May 25 after being arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead.

The centerpiece of the case was a bystander video of Floyd gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to stop as the officer pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was 9 1/2 minutes. Floyd slowly went silent and limp.

Prosecutors played the footage at the earliest opportunity, during opening statements, with Jerry Blackwell telling the jury: “Believe your eyes.” And it was shown over and over, analyzed one frame at a time by witnesses on both sides.

In the wake of Floyd’s death, demonstrations and scattered violence broke out in Minneapolis, around the country and beyond. The furor also led to the removal of Confederate statues and other symbols such as Aunt Jemima.

In the months that followed, numerous states and cities restricted the use of force by police, revamped disciplinary systems or subjected police departments to closer oversight.

The Minneapolis police chief quickly declared Floyd’s death “murder” and fired all four officers. As jury selection was underway, the city reached a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family. 

Police-procedure experts and law enforcement veterans inside and outside the Minneapolis department, including the chief, testified for the prosecution that Chauvin used excessive force and went against his training.

Medical experts for the prosecution said Floyd died of asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, because his breathing was constricted by the way he was held down on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind him, a knee on his neck and his face jammed against the ground.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson called a police use-of-force expert and a forensic pathologist to help make the case that Chauvin acted reasonably against a struggling suspect and that Floyd died because of an underlying heart condition and his illegal drug use.

Floyd had high blood pressure, an enlarged heart and narrowed arteries, and fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in his system.

Under the law, police have certain leeway to use force and are judged according to whether their actions were “reasonable” under the circumstances.

The defense also tried to make the case that Chauvin and the other officers were hindered in their duties by what they perceived as a growing, hostile crowd.

Chauvin did not testify. All that the jury or the public ever heard by way of an explanation from Chauvin came from a police body-camera video after Floyd -- who stood six feet and weighed 223 pounds -- was whisked away in an ambulance. Chauvin told a bystander: “We gotta control this guy ’cause he’s a sizable guy ... and it looks like he’s probably on something.”

The prosecution’s case also included tearful testimony from onlookers who said the police kept them back when they protested about what was happening. Eighteen-year-old Darnella Frazier, who videotaped the events, said Chauvin just gave the bystanders a “cold” and “heartless” stare.

She and others testified that they felt a sense of helplessness and lingering guilt from witnessing Floyd’s slow-motion death.

“It’s been nights I stayed up, apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more,’’ Frazier testified, “and not physically interacting and not saving his life.” 

 A 19-year-old cashier at the neighborhood market, Christopher Martin, lamented that “this could have been avoided” if only he had refused to accept from Floyd the suspect $20 bill

Floyd’s girlfriend, whom the prosecution called to testify, told the story of how the couple met and how they struggled with addiction to opioids. Floyd’s younger brother, Philonise, recalled how Floyd helped teach him to catch a football and made “the best banana mayonnaise sandwiches.”

___

Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd