The conviction marks a significant moment for the US, where officers are rarely convicted of on-duty killings.
Minnesota has only ever convicted one police officer of muder for an on-duty incident – Mohamed Noor, a black officer who fatally shot a white woman, Justine Damond, in 2017.
The verdict triggered an outpouring of emotion on the streets of Minneapolis, where protesters have gathered for days on end to demand sweeping reforms to policing.
Speaking ahead of the verdict, Michelle Gross, from the non-profit Communities United Against Police Brutality, said: “We’ll never be able to actually achieve full justice in this case, but what will give some measure of justice is for him to [be sentenced] to the fullest extent of the law”.
Ms Gross said a coalition of social justice groups would next turn their attention to the trial of the three other officers involved in Mr Floyd’s arrest, who are scheduled to go on trial in the summer.
The intensive three-week trial was one of the most closely-watched in US history, with the proceedings broadcast live by cable networks to millions of Americans each day.