Feelings of vindication and pledges to continue fighting for justice poured in Tuesday after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck until he died last May.
“We need to use this verdict as an inflection point,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said shortly after the verdict was read.
Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
At a news conference, Ellison read off the names of others killed in encounters with police. “This has to end. We need true justice. That’s not one case. That’s social transformation that says no one is beneath the law and no one is above it,” he said.
Judge Peter Cahill also ruled that Chauvin’s bail was revoked, and he was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs and placed in the custody of the Hennepin County Sheriff.
‘We still have work to do’
“Today, history was made,” Benjamin Crump, an attorney who represents Floyd’s family, said in a video posted to Twitter shortly after the verdict was read. “Let us all rejoice for this moment, but know that we still have work to do.”
GUILTY!<br><br>Attorney Crump reacts following the verdict! <a href=”https://t.co/5uBhXsnJXi”>pic.twitter.com/5uBhXsnJXi</a>
Crump also posted video of U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris calling Floyd’s family after the verdict.
Earlier on Tuesday, Biden said he was “praying the verdict is the right verdict” and that he previously spoke to the family on Monday.
President Biden and VP Harris call the Floyd family after the GUILTY verdict! Thank you <a href=”https://twitter.com/POTUS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@POTUS</a> & <a href=”https://twitter.com/VP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@VP</a> for your support! We hope that we can count on you for the police reform we NEED in America! ✊🏾 <a href=”https://t.co/cg4V2D5tlI”>pic.twitter.com/cg4V2D5tlI</a>
“Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice,” Biden could be heard saying in the video. “We’re going to get a lot more done.”
Biden and Harris will deliver remarks later Tuesday.
Crowds erupted in cheers at verdict
Outside the Minneapolis courthouse, a crowd of several hundred people erupted in cheers when the verdict was announced. Chants of “George Floyd” and “All three counts” broke out.
At George Floyd square in Minneapolis, Minn., the intersection where Floyd was killed and which is now named after him, people screamed, applauded and wept. The site has since become a rallying point for racial justice protests.
“Today, a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing,” former U.S. president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama said in a statement. “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.
“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.”
Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. <a href=”https://t.co/mihZQHqACV”>pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV</a>
The WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves posted matching statements Tuesday evening.
They said they were “hopeful that today’s decision will serve as a step forward, but it does not ease the physical and emotional pain that continues in an environment where systemic racism exists.”