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Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison: ‘This is not the end’

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the lead prosecutor in the state’s case against Derek Chauvin, said during a news conference on Tuesday that “this is not the end,” and that his office expects to present another case this summer.

Mr. Ellison did not elaborate on the other case, but three other officers who were with Mr. Chauvin during the arrest face aiding and abetting charges and are scheduled to be tried together in August. At George Floyd Square, a crowd chanted “One down, three to go” after the verdict was read, in reference to the other three officers.

The guilty verdict on all three counts — second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — is a major victory for Mr. Ellison and his team, who brought 35 witnesses to the stand over three weeks of emotionally grueling testimony. The case was one of the most high-profile in decades, and their successful plea to the jury, “Believe your eyes,” has further illustrated the power of video evidence in cases of police brutality.

Mr. Ellison praised the witnesses who testified during the trial — ranging from the chief of the Minneapolis Police Department to a 9-year-old girl who witnessed the arrest — many of whom condemned Mr. Chauvin’s actions during their testimony.

“We put everything we had into this prosecution,” he said. “We presented the best case that we could, and the jury heard us, and we’re grateful for that.”

Alongside Mr. Ellison were some of the prosecutors who presented the case at trial. Matthew Frank, an assistant attorney general for Minnesota, appeared to choke back tears as he thanked George Floyd’s family. “This is for you, George Floyd, and for your family and friends,” he said.

Jerry W. Blackwell, a prosecutor who presented evidence during trial and gave the rebuttal argument against the defense on Monday, also thanked the prosecution team, saying they had the courage and passion to “get into good trouble” by taking on this case.

“They stepped into the light and they shined,” he said. “No verdict can bring George Perry Floyd back to us, but this verdict does give a message to his family that he was somebody, that his life mattered, that all of our lives matter, and that’s important.”

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