South Africa | WATCH | Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin convicted of George Floyd's murder

The killing sent reverberations throughout the United States and the world, and launched a reckoning on racial injustice in America.

But the prosecution argued, successfully, that Chauvin had used excessive force -- not only with Floyd, but with others he arrested during his 19-year career on the force.

"This wasn't policing, this was murder," Schleicher said.

He did attend every day of the trial, however, dressed in a suit and often taking notes on a yellow legal pad.

The jury clearly disagreed.

"Even though the female was not physically resisting in any way, Chauvin kneeled on her body, using his body weight to pin her to the ground," the prosecution said.

In an interview with AFP last June he recalled Chauvin as a "jerk" who would stand with arms folded and glare at those around him.

His commitment to the job earned him four medals over the course of his career. But he also racked up 22 internal complaints and investigations, according to a public record scrubbed of all details.

The club's former owner, Maya Santamaria, described him to reporters as someone man who "had a real short fuse," and who made generous use of tear gas at the slightest provocation.

That arrangement would have sheltered the funds if Chauvin was ordered to pay significant damages.