Statement on Derek Chauvin Verdict from Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart

Eric Rinehart (Lake County State's Attorney's Office)
Eric Rinehart (Lake County State's Attorney's Office).

The Road Toward Justice; Chauvin Verdict Should Make Us All Reflect

(Lake County, IL) – In a case that has drawn international attention, a jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 45, guilty of all three charges he faced in the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died last May after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than 9 minutes as Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe.




Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The following is a statement from Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart on the verdict and what it may mean for a country divided over racial, criminal justice, and political issues:

His name was George Perry Floyd, Jr., and he was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020.

A jury has returned its verdict and confirmed what we have all known about those nine horrifying minutes. Through this verdict, our legal system has kept this case on the road toward justice. The sentence in this case will further reveal whether real reform is within reach.




Eleven months ago, our nation and our legal system started a journey to this historic verdict. We have grieved, marched, listened, learned, shouted, cried, voted, and waited. We have waited for this day not because we were unsure of the truth, but because we were unsure of a system that for too long has ignored its own structural flaws and refused to hold accountable those who have caused the deaths of black and brown Americans.

As criminal justice reform surged forward, as new groups and younger people joined the political process, and as our communities reverberated with intense debate and calls to action, we may have felt a renewed sense of hope about our ability to effect change.




Sadly, the recent deaths of Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright have shown us that there is so much more work to do – more accountability, more investment in communities, more listening. This verdict does not solve all of our system’s problems, nor does it change our nation’s history, but it gives us hope.

The jury listened to the evidence, and its verdict speaks the truth that this was murder. It is time for us to carry that truth with us, in honor of Mr. Floyd, as we go forward in this work toward justice for all.

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Eric Rinehart (Lake County State's Attorney's Office)
Eric Rinehart (Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office).