• Fri. Sep 17th, 2021

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Derek Chauvin conviction: ‘This is monumental. This is historic’

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image captionCelebrations in Black Lives Matter Square, Washington

The conviction of a police officer for the murder of a black man during an arrest captured on film and played around the world has been hailed as a watershed moment.

It is rare that US police officers are charged over deaths in custody but Derek Chauvin now faces a jail sentence for the killing of George Floyd.

Here is how the verdict is being received.

Minneapolis Attorney General Keith Ellison

When I became the lead prosecutor I asked for time and patience to review the facts, gather evidence and prosecute for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent that the law allowed.

That long hard painstaking work has culminated today. I would not call it justice however. Justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.

And now the cause of justice is in your hands. And when I say “your hands” I mean the hands of the people of the United States. George Floyd mattered. He is the one who sparked a worldwide movement and that’s important.

Barack and Michelle Obama

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.

Minneapolis Police Federation

There are no winners in this case and we respect the jury’s decision.

We need the political pandering to stop and the race-baiting of elected officials to stop.

In addition, we need to stop the divisive comments and we all need to do better to create a Minneapolis we all love.

Reverend Dr Jacqui Lewis, anti-racism campaigner

It’s not justice. Justice would be George loving on his family – alive, breathing, walking tall.

But this is accountability. A hideous crime, caught on tape. An arrest. An arraignment. A trial and three guilty verdicts.

With that right chests relax a bit. Eyes fill with tears, souls a moment of relief.

Now, we demand a new standard: You will be held accountable. And maybe, just maybe: Our Black Lives Matter.

Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother

Being able to know there is justice for African American people, just people of colour, period, in this world. This is monumental. This is historic. This is a pivotal moment in history.

Vice-President Kamala Harris

Racial injustice is not just a black America problem or a people of colour problem, it’s a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all.

And it his holding our nation back from realising our full potential.

We are all a part of GF’s legacy and our job now is to honour it and honour him.

Catch up on what happened

media captionWatch the moment Derek Chauvin learnt his fate

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