George Floyd: Fireworks set off in Sheffield to mark conviction of Derek Chauvin

Fireworks have been set off in Sheffield to celebrate the conviction in America of the police officer who killed George Floyd.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 1:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:14 pm

Mr Floyd, aged 46, was killed last May in Minneapolis, Minnesota after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine and a half minutes.

In the wake of Mr Floyd’s death, protests spread around the world including to Sheffield, where a huge ‘Black Lives Matter’ rally was held on Devonshire Green.

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A Black Lives Matter demonstration was held in Sheffield in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

Minneapolis police officer Chauvin was found guilty of the murder yesterday evening in a verdict which saw emotional scenes in cities and towns across the United States.

The Sheffield fireworks were set off in the Norfolk Park area of the city, and lasted around five minutes, according to witnesses.

The three-week trial of 45-year-old Derek Chauvin ended swiftly with barely more than a day of jury deliberations, then just minutes for the verdicts to be read - guilty, guilty and guilty - and he was handcuffed and taken away to prison.

Hundreds of people poured into the streets of Minneapolis, the city where Mr Floyd was killed, some running through traffic with banners.

His younger brother Philonise, speaking at a press conference, said: "Today, we are able to breathe again."

Tears streamed down his face as he likened Mr Floyd to the 1955 Mississippi lynching victim Emmett Till, except that this time there were cameras around to show the world what happened.

The jury, comprised of six white people and six of black or multi-ethnic backgrounds, came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days.

The now-fired white officer was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the verdict, saying Mr Floyd's death was "a murder in full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world" to see systemic racism.

But he added: "It's not enough. We can't stop here. We're going to deliver real change and reform.

"We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.