Reactions are pouring in from politicians, activists and residents after Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who kept his knee on the neck of George Floyd for more than nine minutes last year, was found guilty on all counts he faced in connection to Floyd’s death, which was caught on camera.
Chauvin potentially faces up to 40 years in prison after being convicted, with a sentencing date to be set in the coming months.
Chauvin was convicted on all three counts he faced, including second-degree and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statement after the verdict was read in court, saying that the jury “delivered justice” in the case.
“My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd, who deserve to have him alive today,” the governor said. “I’m also thinking of all our Black communities and other communities of color who see their children or their parents or themselves in George Floyd, and Daunte Wright, and Adam Toledo, and Breonna Taylor, and Laquan McDonald.
“This verdict marks an important milestone on the journey to justice, but the fullest measure of progress is how we deliver accountability, safety and meaningful change,” he added.
Jahmal Cole, founder of the anti-violence advocacy group “My Block, My Hood, My City” issued a statement just prior to the verdict being read, saying that “no trial can ever truly bring about the justice we deserve.”
“Trials are for redressing wrongs after the harm is already done,” he said. “Our safety, our security, our survival, our future cannot, and must not, depend on the outcome in a single courtroom. We must press for justice, every day and in every way, so that trials like these become a thing of the past:”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot posted a statement to her Twitter account, saying that the verdict is a reminder that “being Black in America cannot be a death sentence.”
“I join my fellow Chicagoans, Americans and human beings across the world as justice is being served in Minneapolis today,” the mayor said. “I want to commend the jury, the prosecution and the people of Minnesota for their invaluable work to hold Mr. Chauvin accountable for his crimes. George Floyd’s death sparked a pivotal moment for Americans fighting to end systemic racism. Today marks a moment where future generations can look back and see that we as a nation came together and rightfully demanded justice and accountability.”
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of Jacob Blake in his federal lawsuit against a Kenosha police officer that shot and paralyzed him last summer, issued a statement after the verdict, calling it “painfully earned justice.”
“This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement,” he said. “We still have work to do. We have to make the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act become law, so we can hold law enforcement accountable and prevent so many of these unjustified killings of marginalized people of color.”