The poll, conducted in the three hours after the verdict was announced, found 71% of Americans agreed Chauvin was guilty and 62% said they intended to accept the verdict and do nothing.
Chauvin, who is 45 and white, was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. Chauvin was seen on video pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee last Memorial Day for over nine minutes after police responded to a report that Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill.
Chauvin faces 12 1/2 years or 150 months in prison under sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender. But, the prosecution argues there are aggravating factors that require a longer prison term. That means Chauvin may face longer than that sentence.
In the hours after a guilty verdict was announced in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a USA TODAY Ipsos poll found most Americans approved of the finding.
But the snap poll also found differences in public views of Chauvin’s motivations. Of those surveyed, 40% said they believed Chauvin was guilty of murder, while 32% said the act was negligence on the part of the officer. Only 11% said they believed Chauvin’s actions were an accident.
The Ipsos poll was conducted from 5-8 p.m. on April 20 for USA TODAY. It surveyed 1,000 adults age 18-65 in every state online and in English, and has a confidence interval of 3.2 percentage points.