SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Legal experts are saying that the video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd is what helped bring three guilty verdicts for Chauvin on Tuesday.
"We know how difficult it is to bring charges and then if charges are brought, it's rare to get a conviction," Former Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Alana Mathews said. "It's a moment where we recognized that we are only here because of that video and also because of her bravery."
The reason it likely made a difference is because the original press release sent out by the Minneapolis Police Department about the death of George Floyd provided context to what police say initially happened.
That press release has been circling social media as Derek Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday. A copy of the release posted by Chris Vanderveen on Twitter read, "[George Floyd] physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance and he died a short time later."
The video showed a different reality.
The young woman who took the now-viral video, Darnella Frazier, testified during the trial that she felt guilty that she couldn't do more for George Floyd as she watched Chauvin kneel on his neck for more than nine minutes.
Mathews said that the video was at the center of the prosecution's argument against Chauvin and without it, she doesn't know if we would be talking about three guilty verdicts today.
"You have the cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother," Philonise Floyd said after the verdict was handed down.
Frazier was also happy about the verdict, saying on Instagram, "I just cried so hard. George Floyd, we did it. Justice has been served."
Mathews called Frazier the "eyes of America" by helping the country see what happened to Floyd.
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