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Plurality of US voters say Chauvin should be found guilty in Floyd's murder: Poll

Demonstrators protest near the Hennepin County Courthouse where jurors deliberated at the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, April 19, 2021, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by AFP)

A sizeable number of Americans believe the former US police officer Derek Chauvin should be held guilty for George Floyd’s brutal murder last year, according to a new poll.

The Hill-HarrisX poll, released on Tuesday, came as jurors in Chauvin's case resumed second day of deliberations amid simmering anti-racism protest rallies across the country.

The poll, which was conducted online among 2,881 registered voters with 1.83 percent margin of error, showed a whopping 47 percent of registered voters in the April 16-19 survey saying that Chauvin should be found guilty in Floyd’s murder.

According to the poll findings, only 20 percent said Chauvin should be held innocent, while 33 percent of respondents said they were undecided about his fate.

Among Democratic voters, 62 percent said Chauvin should be found guilty, compared to 31 percent of Republican voters holding the same view. A total of 38 percent of GOP voters said they were undecided while 31 percent said he should be exonerated.

Tuesday is the second day of deliberations in the police officer’s trial, who is charged with murder and manslaughter after kneeling on the victim’s neck for several minutes, leaving him with no ability to resist or show aggression.

Floyd's heinous murder on May 25, 2020 drew widespread anger and outrage in and outside the US, sparking protests and riots that have only gained momentum in recent months.

Jurors in the case had to go through three weeks of testimonies from 45 witnesses, who included bystanders and medical experts, along with hours of video evidence.

The trial of Chauvin, who is white and has pleaded not guilty for the black man's murder, has been the most high-profile case of US police brutality and misconduct in recent history.

Chauvin's verdict depends on whether the jury members believe that he used excessive, and therefore illegal, force to kill Floyd after pinning him down handcuffed.

The defense attorney, in his arguments, has held that Chauvin acted just like any "reasonable police officer" would" have behaved.

The defense has also raised doubts about the cause of Floyd's death, claiming he died of underlying heart disease and drug use.

The jury comprises four white women, two white men, three Black men, one Black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records.

The court has promised to shield their identities for some time after the verdict is submitted.

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