Emily’s Weekly Political Scoop: Derek Chauvin Found Guilty on All Charges for the Murder of George Floyd, and the Medical Aid to India Provided by the U.S.


Emily Landolfi, Staff Writer

This week, there are two major political topics we need to talk about. First, the verdict of Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd. This has been building up since last May when Mr. Chauvin kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 9 and a half minutes, ultimately killing him. Second, there is a COVID-19 crisis occurring in India from a surge in case and death numbers and America is planning to aid the country through this devastation. Without further ado, let’s get into it.


After weeks of trials, the jury has determined a verdict for Derek Chauvin: guilty on all charges over the death of George Floyd. These charges are unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. NPR goes into detail about the events that took place on April 24th, reporting that Judge Peter Cahill, after thanking the jury, stated that the official sentencing should be expected in about 8 weeks. Mr. Chauvin will remain in custody.  Guidelines of the state suggest that for someone with no criminal history, they should be incarcerated 12.5 years for unintentional second-degree murder: however, prosecutors may fight for the maximum sentence of 40 years, depending on whether Judge Cahill agrees that there were aggravating factors (Wamsley). 


Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s younger brother, told that he was praying for Mr. Chauvin to be found guilty in court and embraced prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and more in a hug after the verdict was announced (Wamsley). The Guardian dives deeper into the family’s reactions, explaining that Philonise was the only one allowed in the courtroom and celebrated the outcome with family members and civil rights leaders. He went on to say that the fight for justice was not over and he is not just fighting for his brother, but for everyone affected by these racial injustices (“‘My Brother Got Justice’: George Floyd’s Family Praises Guilty Verdict”). 


Many of Mr. Floyd’s family members traveled to Minneapolis or watched on TV to find out about the ruling. His nephew Brandon, his daughter’s mother Roxie Washington, his daughter Gianna, his younger brother Rodney, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, and congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston and Joyce Beatty of Columbus gathered together in the courthouse’s overflow room to await the results (“‘My Brother Got Justice’: George Floyd’s Family Praises Guilty Verdict”). 


LaTonya Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, stated that her brother got justice, clarifying that this is a rarity for these types of issues. She told of memories of her and her brother and shared about her conflicting feelings of hurt and happiness after the trail. Further, she described that when Mr. Chauvin was handcuffed and walked out, he lost control and her brother gained it instead. Rodney said that the verdict is for anyone who has gone through this type of situation, and that President Joe Biden called the family before the trial and told them that he was praying for them. Mr. Floyd has four siblings and five children that keep his memory alive (“‘My Brother Got Justice’: George Floyd’s Family Praises Guilty Verdict”).


India is struggling immensely as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths surges throughout the country. BBC reports that on Saturday, about 350,000 new cases were recorded in India and within three days, they have had nearly a million infections. Hospitals have said that patients are dying due to a lack of oxygen that they can provide. Hospitals in Delhi have expressed that they are at their breaking point, and the Holy Family Hospital has reported that their units are full and they have no room. A majority of hospitals are severely struggling and Dr. Sumit Ray expands on this point, stating that within minutes, most patients will die when the oxygen in their ventilators stops (“India Covid Surge: Hospitals Send SOS as Record Deaths Registered.”).


The World Health Organization has stated that this devastation is a reminder of what COVID-19 is capable of. Early this year, the Indian government was confident that they beat the virus as cases fell to 11,000 in February and vaccines were being exported. However, new variants and mass gatherings, like the Kumbh Mela festival in which millions attended early this month, caused this new eruption of cases and deaths (“India Covid Surge: Hospitals Send SOS as Record Deaths Registered.”).


However, the United States has pledged in a phone call between Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, and Ajit Doval, the Indian national security adviser, to increase the medical aid available in India. The U.S. exploring options to give oxygen generation and sending a team of health advisors was talked about in the call. Emily Horne, National Security Council Spokesperson, states that the U.S. is determined to help India as their country’s health system collapses, similar to how they helped the U.S. earlier in the pandemic. She further stated that certain raw materials needed for vaccine production, which was previously banned as an export, test kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and other aid will be exported to them. 


And that concludes my political recap for the week! The guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin’s trial has given justice to George Floyd and his family while also sending the message that people will not stop fighting until justice is served to victims of racial police brutality. In terms of COVID-19, India is struggling tremendously as the case and death toll increases at a rapid speed, but the U.S. is planning to provide the country with the medical aid it needs. I hope you found this information helpful and that you will return next week for the latest news!    


Works Cited

“India Covid Surge: Hospitals Send SOS as Record Deaths Registered.” BBC News, BBC, 24 Apr. 2021, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56870410.

Lonsdorf, Kat. “U.S. Pledges Medical Aid To India, Where COVID-19 Is Overwhelming Hospitals.” NPR, NPR, 25 Apr. 2021, www.npr.org/2021/04/25/990676453/u-s-pledges-medical-aid-to-india-where-covid-19-is-overwhelming-hospitals. 

“’My Brother Got Justice’: George Floyd’s Family Praises Guilty Verdict.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 Apr. 2021, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/20/george-floyd-family-reaction-guilty-verdict.

Wamsley, Laurel. “Derek Chauvin Found Guilty Of George Floyd’s Murder.” NPR, NPR, 20 Apr. 2021, www.npr.org/sections/trial-over-killing-of-george-floyd/2021/04/20/987777911/court-says-jury-has-reached-verdict-in-derek-chauvins-murder-trial.