The Minneapolis officer was captured on video kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd as he begged for his life on Monday. The police officer, who was fired in response to the incident, has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The death of the 46-year-old had sparked a series of protests in the US.
Mr Chauvin was caught on video pressing his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly protested that he couldn’t breath.
Hours later, the man died.
Four officers, including Mr Chauvin, were fired in response to the incident.
Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said it was “extraordinary” that Mr Chauvin was charged so quickly.
He said: “That’s less than four days. That’s extraordinary.
“We have never charged a case in that time frame.”
But the video of the arrest prompted a furious backlash in the US and around the world and saw a series of protests erupt in Minneapolis and other states.
The death reignited long-standing anger over systemic racism in the US.
Some demonstrators remained peaceful, but others looted businesses and targeted police stations in the state.
Seven people were shot and injured in protests in Louisville, more than 40 people were arrested in New York city, and shots were fired during demonstrations in Denver.
On Friday, protestors stormed and burned down the city’s third police precinct, the former headquarters of the officers involved in Mr Floyd’s arrest.
But as the news broke that Mr Chauvin had been arrested, protestors cheered and celebrated with fireworks.
In response to the protests, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz gave an emotional press conference on Friday.
He said the unrests in the city is the result of “generations of pain, of anguish” over racism in policy.
He added: “Their voices went unheard, and now generations of pain is manifesting itself in front of the world. And the world is watching.”
The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension took the former police officer into custody on Friday, but did not specify where the 19-year veteran is being held.
Mike Freeman, the lead prosecutor for Hennepin county, said: “There may be subsequent charges later.”