On 25 May 2020, Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by holding him to the ground with a knee to the neck for almost 10 minutes.
Floyd was accused of attempting to pass a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. Police were called, he was questioned and detained. During this he was handcuffed and wrestled to the ground, and pinned to the ground, apparently to get him to comply with the police.
One of the police was Derek Chauvin. He ultimately did the pinning and holding that led to Floyd's death.
Chauvin ignored the pleas of Floyd that he couldn't breathe. Chauvin ignored the other police and paramedics who were there to also help. Chauvin ignored the crowd surrounding them. Chauvin did this after Floyd had been subdued, handcuffed, and brought to the ground, and showed no signs of physically resisting. Chauvin continued for minutes after Floyd ceased moving, and for minutes after it was reported he had no pulse.
It was entirely caught on video, where you can see the lack of resistance by Floyd, and apparent disinterest by Chauvin, while hearing the pleas of other officers and bystanders that it was "enough." They've since released other videos, including the police body cameras.
The city and nation exploded in civil unrest and violence, exacerbated by the pandemic, and amplified with other news of Black people killed by police.
He has stood trial for the month or so, starting March 8; so six weeks ago. The jury deliberated for one day, after closing arguments ended yesterday. The guilty verdicts were read today, about an hour ago. All three counts, two murder and one manslaughter.
I get that police have a hard job, and that tensions rise quickly, and that actions can become amplified. I also expect training and support and feedback loops to help keep that in check. I understand justifiable instances where injury or death can occur, and that police should be given a different lens than ordinary people. I also believe that when that happens, they should probably stop being police while that justification is reviewed. And if that isn't justified, they should be held accountable, as would any other person. And really, unless the police are responding to weapons, they shouldn't use fatal weapons. It should be really scrutinized when "one hit too many" happens, as we see people beat down with night sticks, punched, and kicked, after the fight is over.
I don't believe that this situation was handled well at all. Even if they found a large cache of counterfeit money in Floyd's possession, he and his companion were non-violent, and even with their verbal resistance and reaction to being shoved around, didn't deserve any escalation. Especially since it was an accusation, and not yet substantiated, a conversation is about all that is warranted. This should probably have been a ticket, followed up with investigation, and the situation ended there. A key part of making counterfeit money a crime is "knowingly" passing the bills, which can't always be determined curbside. It didn't end there, so they decided to arrest him, presumably to discuss this issue of knowledge and intent. If he resisted while being arrested, which it seems he didn't, then once subdued, after moments passed for police to recognize that he was down and cuffed and they were in better position to "handle" him, the situation should have ended, and he could have been locked in the back of the car and processed back at the station. Certainly, as he lay still on the street, the situation should have changed. There were a critical span of 10 minutes any of this could have changed and the outcome would have been one of disbelief of arresting a man for allegedly knowingly passing a fake $20 bill.
Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_v._Chauvin) has a detailed article and sources.