MINNEAPOLIS (WXOW) - Reaction to the guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial began shortly after the verdicts were read in the courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
The video features a clip from Courteney Ross, George Floyd's girlfriend and also from President Biden who spoke to the family shortly after the verdicts were announced in court.
From Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan:
“Today’s verdict is an important step forward for justice in Minnesota. The trial is over, but our work has only begun.”
“The world watched on May 25, 2020 as George Floyd died with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.”
“Thousands of Minnesotans marched in the streets last summer in the wake of his death—inspiring a movement around the globe. While many of these people never met George, they valued his humanity. They knew what happened was wrong. They called for change, and they demanded justice.”
“A year later, Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder and faces years behind bars.”
“But we know that accountability in the courtroom is only the first step.”
“No verdict can bring George back, and my heart is with his family as they continue to grieve his loss. Minnesota mourns with you, and we promise the pursuit of justice for George does not end today.”
“True justice for George only comes through real, systemic change to prevent this from happening again. And the tragic death of Daunte Wright this week serves as a heartbreaking reminder that we still have so much more work to do to get there.”
“Too many Black people have lost—and continue to lose—their lives at the hands of law enforcement in our state.”
“Our communities of color cannot go on like this. Our police officers cannot go on like this. Our state simply cannot go on like this. And the only way it will change is through systemic reform.”
“We must rebuild, restore, and reimagine the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We must tackle racial inequities in every corner of society—from health to home ownership to education. We must come together around our common humanity.”
“Let us continue on this march towards justice.”
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan released the following statement:
“Justice for George Floyd means building a community and a state where everyone is safe. While nothing will bring George back, this verdict is a step toward the vision of justice that sent thousands of people into the streets, demanding change.”
“In his last moments, George cried out to his mother. His life and his humanity mattered. Our work is not done until every mother’s child is safe, valued, and protected. We must be bold in our thinking, steadfast in our commitment to one another, and courageous enough to reimagine what true public safety means. And we must never forget George Floyd’s daughter, who will grow up without a father.”
“The grief and pain of so many Minnesotans doesn’t go away with one verdict, even a verdict towards justice. And the legacy of this moment and this movement does not end today.”
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said:
“We are encouraged by the jury’s decision to convict Derek Chauvin. It is by no means the end of our efforts to build a more just and equitable Minnesota and nation, but it is an important milestone on our journey and a step to healing deep, generational traumas.
“While today’s verdict is encouraging, it does not diminish the urgency with which we must continue our efforts to combat the epidemic of police violence in our communities.
“George Floyd received justice today in that courtroom, now we must continue advocating for justice for all, everywhere: in the legislature, where we’re fighting to pass bills to increase police oversight and end qualified immunity, in our own communities, where we come together to heal and build trust and mutual understanding, and in the streets, where every day we are organizing, marching, and strengthening our movement.”
U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement after the verdict was announced in the Derek Chauvin trial:
“Convicting Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is a moment of accountability, and also a moment to recommit ourselves to the movement for racial justice his tragic murder sparked.
“Millions of people took to the streets because we couldn’t look away from the reality of George Floyd’s murder and we could see change had to come. I can’t stop thinking about all the Black and Brown people denied their civil rights and denied their lives, where there was no accountability.
“Last week a reporter interviewing me referred to Minnesota as ‘the Jim Crow of the North.’ Devastating. He was talking about the deep and persistent inequities in housing, health care, policing and the criminal justice system, and economic opportunity that people of color experience in my state.
“These inequities exist, not only in Minnesota, but all across our country. And we can change them.
“What if this verdict is the beginning of a transformation in public safety for Minnesota and our country, where we move past the warrior model of policing and toward a model of truly protecting and serving?
“What if we rethink public safety so that Black and Brown people, and all people, truly feel safe and protected in their homes, neighborhoods and communities?
“This is the work ahead of all of us.”
From former President Barack Obama:
Today, a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing.
For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?
In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.
True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognize that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last. And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.
While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest. We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized.
And as we continue the fight, we can draw strength from the millions of people — especially young people — who have marched and protested and spoken up over the last year, shining a light on inequity and calling for change. Justice is closer today not simply because of this verdict, but because of their work.
Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, in the hopes that they may find peace. And we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today released the following statement after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty for murdering George Floyd:
“George Floyd pleaded for his life and it’s clear to me that police officer Derek Chauvin used excessive force and took it away. Justice has been rightly served and he will be held accountable for this murder. Far too many Black lives have been taken by police and change is long overdue. This must strengthen our resolve to take action and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to help stop systemic racism and bias in policing and start saving lives.”
The League of Women Voters of the United States issued the following joint statement with the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the League of Women Voters of Minneapolis in response to the conviction of George Floyd’s murderer:
“Today, the police officer responsible for the murder of George Floyd was held accountable for his crime.
“While the decision to convict George Floyd’s murderer was just, it does not remedy the undeniable fact that policing in America is fundamentally broken.
“The United States’ system of law enforcement, which was built on the legacy of slavery and racism, has stolen the lives of Black and brown Americans for centuries, almost completely unchecked.
“Making one man answer for his crimes does not equal justice. This conviction was an outlier in a system built on white supremacy. Accountability and the eradication of racially-motivated violence should be the norm, not an exception. Police officers must be held to the same level of accountability as everyone else.
“We must radically reimagine public safety in this country and prioritize investments in economic opportunities, education, healthcare, and other community-led solutions, instead of perpetuating police violence.
“Our thoughts are with the family of George Floyd. We hope that this decision provides a modicum of peace amid this tragedy.
“Today’s decision must represent a turning point as we work towards true reform of policing in this country.”