Reaction to Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict in George Floyd’s Death

Guilty on all three counts!!!  Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty this afternoon on all three counts for his involvement in last year’s death of George Floyd.  The sentencing will take place in approximately two months, but it is extremely likely Chauvin will spend the majority of his remaining life behind bars.

Sitting in the Minneapolis courtroom, Chauvin displayed no emotion behind his COVID mask as Judge Peter Cahill read the jury’s verdict, his eyes moving back and forth.  The ex-cop was found guilty of both second- and third-degree murder, as well as second degree manslaughter.  After Judge Cahill revoked his bail, Chauvin was led out of the courtroom, his hands cuffed behind his back.  He faces as many as 75 years in jail.

Here in New Jersey, reaction to the verdict was swift.  The County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey, which is led by Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, who serves as President, issued a joint statement, saying, “Today, the jury delivered justice not only for the family and loved ones of George Floyd, but for the millions of Americans of color who for decades have experienced a different reality of uneven treatment by law enforcement. What we witnessed in Minneapolis last May was not policing, but was murder and an absolute abdication of the values of protecting and serving. With this verdict, our country can begin the long and complex process of healing, which we know will also involve continued dialogue between communities and law enforcement, as well as ongoing police reform, increased transparency, and accountability. We thank the Jury for their service.”

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop weighed in, stating, “Today justice was served by the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial returning a verdict of guilty on all three counts. The sadness and loss that George Floyd’s family and friends feel will unfortunately never totally go away. That sadness is shared throughout our country and here in Jersey City.

This verdict also serves as proof that there is still justice and accountability in our country, and I am hopeful that it can be a starting point for bringing more meaningful reforms nationally and locally so that we will no longer be hearing name after name of black lives that were taken too soon by law enforcement that swore to protect them.”

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie released the following statement, saying, “George Floyd will never go home to his family but today’s guilty verdict offers a measure of relief to his family and the millions of people so deeply affected by his death. The movement for justice that was sparked in the wake of George Floyd’s murder continues, as does our Democratic Party’s commitment to fairness and equality. We must use this moment as a time to encourage more accountability, respect and dialogue between the police and the communities they serve. If we can accomplish that, perhaps George Floyd will not have died in vain and his death can be the start of a more just society.”

United States Senator Cory Booker (D – New Jersey) tweeted, “Justice is served. Accountability for George Floyd’s murder is important & necessary. But it’s not enough—we still must fix this deeply broken system.

Today I’m thinking about George Floyd’s family, his daughter & his loved ones as they continue to mourn this unspeakable loss.”

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