MINNEAPOLIS — Civic and organizational leaders responded Tuesday to a jury convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on all counts of murdering George Floyd on Tuesday in the Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota.
Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Chauvin had detained Floyd, who was handcuffed and lying on the ground, and knelt on his neck until he died as community watched and yelled for the Floyd’s life.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
MINNEAPOLIS – Mayor Frey addresses historic verdict convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on all counts.
“George Perry Floyd Jr. came to Minneapolis to better his life. But ultimately his life will have bettered our city. Today the jury joined in a shared conviction that has animated Minneapolis for the last 11 months: they refused to look away. They believed their own eyes and affirmed George Floyd should still be here today.
“This murder verdict won’t change the fact that George Floyd’s family has been rendered incomplete. It won’t undo the damage to community, restore the potential and promise of his life, or give a child her father back. But the decision marks an important step in our pursuit of racial justice in Minneapolis – one important step on a much longer journey.
“Generation after generation, year after year, this measure of basic justice has been denied to our Black community. That there will be Black Minneapolis residents and Minnesotans left stunned, suspended in disbelief that the jury actually delivered this moment for George Floyd – that reality speaks volumes to the trauma our society has inflicted both quietly and overtly.
“Ours is a deeply imperfect city – one with its work cut out for it – but as a people we have never been so completely committed to doing that work. Minneapolis is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in policy under state law. We’re building up new and inclusive community safety systems and piloting new alternative response programming without tearing down Chief Arradondo’s work. We are a city capable of extraordinary progress.
“What makes our democracy work, what will make our community stronger, and what will inform our ability to honor George Floyd’s life in both word and deed will be our community’s active participation in shaping the future.
“Yes, there will be challenges. And I know we will meet them together, with a shared sense of purpose, an abiding commitment to racial justice, and an unmatched love for the City of Minneapolis.”
MN-NAPABA and NAPABA
Over the past year, in the wake of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, amongst others, the national and Minnesota chapters of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association MNAPABA and NAPABA expressed their support of and solidarity with the Black community in Minnesota and across the nation. Today, a jury in Minneapolis has convicted Derek Chauvin on all counts charged in the killing of George Floyd. MNAPABA and NAPABA acknowledge the pain and anguish of the Floyd family and the Black community, and we recognize this is but one chapter in the ongoing endeavor to improve accountability, training, integrity, transparency, and improvement of this country’s criminal justice system as we have called for in NAPABA’s Resolution in Support of the Black Community.
At this critical inflection point in race relations in the United States, and as our own communities face a surge in reported hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents, MNPABA and NAPABA reiterate their commitment to stand in solidarity with the Black community in Minnesota and across the nation in our shared goal of combating racism, discrimination, hate crimes, and other forms of bigotry. NAPABA recognizes the long history of systemic inequality faced by the Black community in this country and reaffirms its resolution calling for accountability and improving standards of professionalism and conduct in law enforcement. NAPABA has called for building trust between law enforcement and communities of color including by promoting diversity, inclusion, and better training for law enforcement. Community and government leaders must work together to create that trust and fairness in the legal system by combatting bias and safeguarding civil rights, civil liberties, and access to justice for all. While there remains much more work to be done, we hope this outcome helps the country heal and put greater faith in the rule of law.
MINNEAPOLIS — A jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.
The following statement can be attributed to Jason Williamson, deputy director of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project:
“George Floyd will never make his way home to play games with his daughter, Gianna. He’ll never go on walks through the park with his beloved fiancée Courteney or play basketball with his brother, Philonise. While today’s verdict is a step forward in the fight for police accountability and may help heal a grieving community, the systems that allowed a police officer to murder Mr. Floyd, ripping him away from his family and the communities that loved him so much, remain fully intact. These are the same systems that resulted in the death of another 20-year-old Black man at the hands of police less than 10 miles from this trial.
“Honoring the lives of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and countless other Black lives violently taken at the hands of police means that elected officials, activists, organizations like the ACLU, and regular people must not allow this verdict to lull us into a place of complacency. Instead, we must renew our conviction to create a world where police do not have the opportunity to use violence and harassment to target Black people as police have been doing since their inception as slave patrols created to monitor, control, and oppress Black communities. This new world includes removing police entirely from low-level enforcement and massively reinvesting in the communities that desperately want more for the legacies of their fallen. And we will fight with them to get there.”
ACLU of Minnesota
“Today, for the first time in state history, a white police officer has been held accountable for killing a Black man. Now, we can finally say George Floyd’s name and make it synonymous not only with grief, anger, and loss over his brutal murder, but with a moment of justice. But to be clear, true justice would mean George Floyd was alive today, with his fiancée, his daughter, and his family.
“While this verdict brings a certain rare form of accountability for police, achieving this outcome for Mr. Floyd is only one step in addressing police abuse of power, disparate treatment, and excessive force against Black and Brown communities. We still must radically change policing in Minnesota and across the country, increase accountability and transparency, and create policies that combat racism in policing.
“The jury’s decision to convict Derek Chauvin does not negate the fact that Mr. Floyd’s tragic murder is part of a horrifying local and national pattern of officers using excessive force against people of color. Mr. Floyd was one of more than 5,000 people killed by police since 2015.
“Mr. Floyd should not have died under an officer’s knee — he should still be alive today. So should Daunte Wright, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people killed by police.
“Our elected officials, activists, communities, and organizations, including the ACLU of Minnesota, must continue to fight for racial justice in Mr. Floyd’s name. We must re-examine our entire system of public safety and public health, and root out the racism that pervades law enforcement. We must prohibit police mistreatment of communities of color, which leads to people being both underserved and overpoliced. We must divert funding from traditional policing toward community-based services, such as crisis teams, so all communities are truly safe. We must remove police from enforcing traffic infractions and low-level offenses. Taking another person’s life is the most extreme action a police officer can take, and new standards for use of force, along with increased accountability and transparency, are needed to ensure that police violence and killings end.
“We join with Mr. Floyd’s family, our community, and our nation in mourning his death. We will never forget to ‘Say His Name.’ Together, we’ll work to ensure that one day, we can remember George Floyd in celebration of the true justice for all achieved in his name.”
Governor Tim Walz
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz today released the following statement in response to the verdict reached in the trial of Derek Chauvin:
“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.”
Minnesota Lieutenant Gov. Peggy Flanagan
“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.”
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) issued the following statement on the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd:
“Today’s conviction was right. For the Floyd family, nothing will bring back George, but this verdict is a first step towards accountability. Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team did great work prosecuting this case, and the hometown witnesses and police officers who testified displayed such courage in reliving that horrific day and making the case for justice.
“This trial was about George Floyd’s murder, but it also captured his life. His brother Philonise Floyd introduced us to a devoted son who struggled to tear himself away from his mother’s casket, a loving brother who always made sure his siblings had a snack for school, and a dedicated community member who ‘just knew how to make people feel better.’
“George Floyd should be alive today, and this conviction will not bring him back to us, nor will it bring us total justice. As long as George Floyd isn’t around to swap trucking tips with his brother, mark the anniversary of his beloved mother’s passing, or hug his children again, there will not be justice. And while Black Americans continue to be subjected to a system that keeps mothers and fathers up at night worrying about whether their children are going to come back home every time they get in the car, we know our work is not done.
“As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: ‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’
“It’s long past time the Senate moves forward and passes police reform to hold officers accountable for misconduct, increase transparency in policing practices, and improve police conduct and training, including banning chokeholds. This is the urgent task before us—not for tomorrow, not for next year, but for now.
“And today, as we reflect on the life of George Floyd, and appreciate this step towards accountability and the work of the prosecutors, judge and jury, we acknowledge our long and winding march towards justice. We renew our commitment towards securing his legacy—not just as the man whose death shined a light on the undeniable stain of racism on our country—but as the man whose memory inspires us to build a more equitable system.”
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after a verdict was reached in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in her district last summer.
“Today’s verdict is a major step on the path towards justice and accountability. I thank our incredible Attorney General Keith Ellison and the prosecution team, who successfully prosecuted a law enforcement homicide—notoriously difficult cases to successfully prosecute and held a murderer accountable on all charges.
“While today’s conviction is a necessary condition of justice, it is not sufficient. For centuries, Black people have faced violence at the hands of the state in our country. For centuries, systemic inequalities in the form of housing, income, education, and criminal justice have plagued our country—holding us back from our creed of liberty and justice for all. Let this be a turning point, where we finally create a society that reflects the belief that all men and women are created equal. Let this be the moment where we implement a broad anti-racist agenda to root out the inequalities that continue to plague us.
“That is what drove Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. It is what motivated nonviolent movements from South Africa to South Asia to the American South. It is what drives the Black Lives Matter movement today. And it is what must drive our elected leaders.”
Hennepin County, Minnesota—Today, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter by a jury at the Hennepin County Government Center. Following the verdict announcement, Commissioner Chris LaTondresse released the following statement.
“Today Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts, including murder in the second degree. His conviction will not bring back George Floyd, or undo the grief, trauma and terror experienced by Black and Brown Minnesotans who for too long have been denied equal treatment by our criminal justice system. But this verdict does send a strong message that no one is above the law, including those sworn to serve and protect.
When law enforcement employs excessive force against our residents, or treats them differently based on the color of their skin, it not only leads to a breakdown in trust. It undermines the promise of equal justice upon which the legitimacy of our entire system rests. It leads to the death of residents like George Floyd and Daunte Wright. It increases the danger that the painful events of this past year will continue to define our future.
In such a world, all of us are less safe, and none of us are immune from injustice.
We stand at an important crossroads. Our collective failure to deliver equal justice, opportunity and public safety for all is a painful feature of our past and present, but it does not have to define our future. We must reexamine the use of force and reform our systems of emergency response. We must end the criminalization of poverty. We must take bold action to reduce racial disparities in education, health and economic mobility.
The fierce urgency of this moment demands nothing less. The world is watching. And what happens next is up to us.”
The People’s Action team
No verdict will bring George Floyd back, or deliver justice to his family and others who have suffered state-sanctioned police violence. Today, we breathe a sigh of relief that Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts. The verdict offers the Floyd family and the people of Minneapolis some shred of accountability.
Still, we have a long road ahead. Convicting one guilty person cannot bring justice for generations of oppression. True justice begins with defunding the Minneapolis police department and diverting that funding to programs to make communities healthy and whole, and it will be complete only when our country finally and permanently ends state-sanctioned murders of Black people.
We hope you will join us and our members at TakeAction Minnesota to support the Black-led coalition advocating for the Yes 4 Minneapolis Charter Amendment campaign that will defend Black lives and transform public safety so that it works for all of us.
We remain united in love and rage with George Floyd’s family, the people of Minneapolis, and communities everywhere fighting to end state-sanctioned police violence.
The People’s Action team
People of Color and Indigenous Caucus
St. Paul, Minnesota — On Tuesday, April 20, the jury reached a guilty verdict on all charges in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. The Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus released the following statement:
“This is not a joyful moment. As we watched the trial and relived the desperate final moments of a man’s life and the cruelty of one who is supposed to protect, we were reminded that we do not live in a just society. The finding of guilt in the actions of an officer not only condemns the actions of that man, but our society and public safety system as a whole. While the verdict is guilty, we demand that Derek Chauvin receive the maximum sentence for his crime.
“Justice cannot stop at punishment, it must continue in everything we do to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. We have the opportunity to create a just society, this verdict has planted the seed of justice in tenuous soil polluted by years of oppression and injustice. It is now up to us, our white colleagues, and all Minnesotans who value human life to nurture this seed so that it may grow into true justice.
“Amongst the chaos of this past year, there are two truths that will stick with us for the rest of our lives and for generations to come. The first; George Floyd should still be alive. The second; George Floyd has changed the world. How exactly the world has been changed remains in our hands. The POCI Caucus will work to create a world where Black Lives Matter, where every life is sacred, where every person feels safe and secure, and where Black, Brown, and Indigenous children can live joyfully free from the oppression of our unjust society.
“Lastly, we extend our deepest sympathies to George Floyd’s friends and family. You lost a loved one in a horrific way and your pain was displayed to the world. No one should have to go through what you did. Your courage and perseverance is an inspiration, and we will hold you in our hearts always.”
The People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus includes Reps. Esther Agbaje (59B), Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Cedrick Frazier (45A), Aisha Gomez (62B), Hodan Hassan (Vice- Chair 62A), Kaohly Her (64A), Athena Hollins (66B), Fue Lee (59A), Carlos Mariani (65B), Rena Moran (65A), Mohamud Noor (60B), Ruth Richardson (52B), John Thompson (67A), Samantha Vang (Chair, 40B), Jay Xiong (67B), Tou Xiong (53B), and Senators Bobby Joe Champion (59), Omar Fateh (62), Melisa Franzen (49), Foung Hawj (67), Mary Kunesh (41), Patricia Torres Ray (Chair, 63). Rep. Heather Keeler signed onto this statement in solidarity.
Jewish Community Action
Today, Derek Chauvin was convicted on all counts for the murder of George Floyd. He is the first white police officer in Minnesota history to be convicted for killing a Black person.
This was the right decision. Derek Chauvin, and the three other officers who assisted him, should be held accountable for killing George Floyd. For too long police officers have been shielded from consequences for brutality against communities of color.
Despite this ruling, we know that the system that allowed Chauvin to take George Floyd’s life is still in place. Just over a week ago, the same system stole the life of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center.
Our current system of policing has caused so much harm. It’s going to take a lot more than the conviction of one man to heal our communities.
In the Jewish tradition, the process of teshuvah, or “repair”, begins with a commitment to never repeat our mistakes. The first step to justice, to repair, is to transform the system so that we never lose another life to police violence again.
At JCA, we believe that this transformation starts with honest and challenging conversations about public safety and policing within our communities. If you would like to be a part of those discussions, click here.
Read this article in TCJewfolk featuring a training by our Community Safety Organizer Enzi Tanner on how this is the beginning, not the end, of our pursuit for justice.
Tzedek tzedek tirdof,
Jewish Community Action
Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis
Today’s verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin moves us one step closer to fully realizing justice for George Floyd. The trials of J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao remain.
Sadly, George Floyd’s murder was not an anomaly. The recent killing of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and countless others amplify the urgent need to dismantle the violent underpinnings of white supremacy embedded throughout our society, most overtly in our policing system. Until the humanity of Black, Latin, and other people of color is fully recognized by all, we will risk continuing to replay this violent narrative.
To that end, we reassert our commitment to uplift voices of color, to intentionally center narratives from Black, Indigenous, Latin, and Asian artists, and to more deeply examine and address where white supremacy, racism, and inequity exist within our organization, the theater field, and our community.
We ask you to join us as we lean into our mission and values to serve artists and their stories—stories that have the power to channel understanding and be the catalyst for desperately needed change.
Join us in uprooting systemic inequalities. Join us in building a more equitable world.
BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
In love and solidarity,
Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx
One year ago, George Floyd was murdered, causing unimaginable pain and trauma for his family, the Minneapolis community, and communities across the nation. Our deepest thoughts have been with the Floyd family since this unjust tragedy. Throughout our history, racial and social inequalities have been ingrained in our society. We are 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. To our BIPOC community, the Timberwolves and Lynx remain committed to influencing change, promoting impactful action, and using our platform to help heal and unite in pursuit of liberty and justice FOR ALL.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on all counts for the killing of George Floyd.
In response to the verdict, 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.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
Minneapolis Regional Chamber
Minneapolis — The following is a statement from Minneapolis Regional Chamber President & CEO Jonathan Weinhagen on the verdict in the Derek Chavin trial:
“First and foremost it is my hope that the jury’s decision will give George Floyd’s family some small measure of peace and will cause us all to look inside and consider how we treat each other. We must value every human life, encourage greater respect toward one another, and call out and eliminate racist violence and other acts of harm. We must continue to work toward a more just and civil world.
“Over the past 11 months, the world has seen both the worst and the best of Minneapolis-St. Paul. We have grieved, protested, spoken out, and pledged to do better. It is the duty of all of us who live and work here to uphold and honor the memory of George Floyd. The Minneapolis Regional Chamber and our area’s business leaders are committed to working for sustainable change.”
St. Paul Area Chamber
Today, we join our friends, colleagues, and neighbors in releasing our collectively-held breath as the Chauvin trial comes to an end. This is a historic conviction. And, while our desire for justice is palpable, our pain is not fully eased. Even now. True justice comes when these events don’t happen in the first place.
In our role as champion of the employer community, we have used this time as an opportunity to look inward. To be part of an ongoing solution, we all must be more intentional about taking a stand for both moral and economic justice. We must broaden our reach to make even more diverse connections, one by one, widening our networks and making space for more voices at every table. We must deepen our commitment to do business differently. In order for change to become a reality, we need the right people, deliberate action, and the re-imagining of systems that perpetuate injustice. If our relationships and networks do not seem broad enough, they probably aren’t. If our actions do not result in change, they probably do not go far enough to get just results. The good news is that each of us has the power to change that.
Last December, our Board of Directors unanimously adopted an equity statement that guides all of our work. As an organization, along with our members large and small, that aspires to “be the change,” we are dedicated to making intentional, actionable strides to commit our connections, practices, and systems to an equitable and thriving region. Today we recommit ourselves to that call to action, continuing our own work, and doing what we can to help the business community be a catalyst for change. The future of our shared economy depends on how we address equity and inclusion today. We are ready, we are committed, and we welcome anyone who would like to join us on the journey.
President & CEO
St. Paul Area Chamber
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today released the following statement on the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
“There’s no verdict that can bring peace to loved ones when someone is taken from them. My heart and thoughts are with George Floyd’s family, his loved ones, and the entire community.
“While this is a moment of accountability in our justice system and our country, we are reminded that justice for Black lives is not a moment—it requires meaningful, sustained, and systemic change.
“Today’s verdict doesn’t replace the changes we must make to keep our promises of a more fair and more equitable state and country. Every day—and especially today—we must reaffirm and resolve to continue our work toward justice.”
American Federation of Teachers
WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram issued the following statement after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd:
Weingarten said: “Justice was served today. It’s clear what we all saw with our own eyes: A murder happened in plain sight last year in Minnesota. Today’s verdict isn’t a panacea—justice can’t be fully served until we have equal opportunity and justice in America for everyone—but today is a huge moment.
“This is an important inflection point for police accountability and making our communities safe spaces for every human being. Because every Black person in this country has a right to live, a right to breathe and a right to be a part of their community without fear of violence and senseless attack simply for the color of their skin. The urgent matter before us is to dismantle the systemic racism that plagues us—to make the fight for anti-racism and equity a cornerstone of everything we do. To do this, we must continue to fight to address all the dimensions of inequality, including fighting for investments in communities of color—in education, community supports, healthcare and neighborhood-based public safety. We must act in their names—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who died as a result of racism.”
Ingram said: “As I heard the verdict in George Floyd Square with a delegation of AFT staff and members, I was overcome with emotion thinking about last year’s tragic event and the tragic events like it that continue to happen all across the country. As a union, we will continue to show up for this community, for our members across the country and for our students—not just for single convictions of police brutality but for an entire reckoning of racial justice and equity in this country, happening in our classrooms, our communities and beyond. This decision is our ground floor—not our ceiling. We will continue the work to move this country forward.”
MADISON, Wis.— Opportunity Wisconsin released the following statement after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts in the murder of George Floyd.
Meghan Roh, Opportunity Wisconsin Program Director:
“While we are glad that Derek Chauvin is being held accountable, true justice will never be served. True justice would mean George Floyd was alive and well today. From the northside of Milwaukee to the south shore of Lake Superior, we all want our families to be whole and our communities to thrive. However, our Black and Brown brothers and sisters are being murdered at the hands of the people entrusted to serve and protect those same communities. Opportunity Wisconsin stands in solidarity with our BIPOC partners across the Badger State in demanding our elected leaders reform a system that has abused and neglected Black and Brown people for far too long. The fight for racial justice is crucial to the fight for opportunity for every Wisconsinite.”
MICHIGAN — AFT Michigan released the following statement regarding Derek Chauvin being found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd. The statement should be attributed to David Hecker, president of AFT Michigan.
“We applaud the decision and hope it brings some semblance of justice to George Floyd’s family and their community. We are committed to ensuring racial justice is at the forefront of what we do at AFT Michigan and hope this decision will bring some relief to the Black and brown children in our communities’ schools who have had to bear witness to and experience continued injustice. But our work does not end with one verdict. We stand with those organizing for public safety that truly protects and serves all people, regardless of race, gender or zip code.”
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement in response to the jury’s conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the murder of George Floyd:
“A beloved friend, son, father, brother, and member of his community, George Floyd was senselessly murdered by a police officer charged with protecting and defending him and the community. The harsh reality is that far too many Black and Brown people in this country fear this same violent end. Although justice was served today with the conviction of Derek Chauvin, Mr. Floyd cannot be made whole and his family deserves better. We all do. This is an incredibly important outcome, but this is only one case. The need to completely reimagine public safety and develop a system that centers community needs is more urgent now than ever. We must end this culture of impunity.”
“The Senate must confirm Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke whose service in the Department of Justice is more important now than ever, and it must join the House and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visitwww.civilrights.org.
POLICE OFFICERS FEDERATION OF MINNEAPOLIS
Minneapolis, Minnesota ( April 20, 2021 ) — We would like to thank the jury for their dedicated work and we understand they had an enormous burden. We also want to reach out to the community and still express our deep remorse for their pain, as we feel it every day as well.
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.
To all the residents of Minneapolis, the POFM stands with you, and not against you. Looking forward to working together for a safer, better tomorrow.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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.”
League of Women Voters
WASHINGTON & MINNEAPOLIS – Today 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.”
Church World Service
Washington, D.C.— In response to today’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, the officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd, Revered Reuben Eckels, Domestic Policy Advocate at Church World Service, issued the following statement:
“George Floyd was a son, a brother, and a father, we mourn for him and with his family and pray that this verdict provides the justice they and their community desperately need.
Today’s verdict has the potential to be a pivotal moment in the history of racial justice in America. We as a nation have become all too inured to the deaths of our fellow citizens at the hands of those sworn to protect our communities. For people of color and our allies, we watched the trial of Derek Chauvin with unease, fearing that this would be yet another example of justice denied to a black man. This anxiety is sadly not isolated to this trial, it is part of what it is to be a person of color in the United States.
One verdict does not change an entire system or culture, but it provides a sense of accountability that we as a nation must endeavor to reproduce if we are to ever truly achieve racial justice.
As scripture tells us, ‘He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?'”
As part of Church World Service’s Platform on Racial Justice, the organization is calling for action. There could be no better time to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as we address community needs that are currently treated as law enforcement issues would be better served with increased funding for mental health response teams, public education and after-school programming, nutrition and well-being support, health care services, workforce development programs, violence prevention and intervention programs, and education and training for civilians on bystander intervention.
For more information CWS’s Platform on Racial Justice, visit CWSGlobal.org.
The following statement on the news that Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of all three charges can be attributed to Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan:
“Holding Derek Chauvin accountable for murdering George Floyd was the bare minimum to bring justice to this tragedy, and we hope George Floyd’s family may find some closure in this guilty verdict. But it is only one small step toward real justice for the Black community. This verdict cannot bring back George Floyd, nor can it repair the damage systemic racism has done to communities across the country. We cannot let this be a stopping point in the fight for racial justice. Black and brown people deserve a future free from the fear and pain caused by unchecked police brutality. We stand with the Black community today and every day and are committed to defunding the police, dismantling white supremacy, and working to create a more just, equitable future.”
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the killing of George Floyd. Shortly after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the case, Muslim Advocates called on him to arrest all officers involved in Floyd’s killing. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera:
“The whole world saw George Floyd beg for breath, for his mother and finally for mercy before dying as Derek Chauvin’s knee was on his neck. The jury’s guilty verdict is a long-overdue measure of justice for the Floyd family. We thank the Floyd family, all the activists on the ground and Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team who all made this important moment of justice happen.
Now, all the other officers involved in Floyd’s killing must also be held accountable. And we must hold accountable all the other officers involved in the killings of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Breonna Taylor, Muhammad Muhaymin, Jr. and the many, many other Black people and people of color who have been harmed and killed by the police. Further, we must all take drastic, immediate action to overhaul the law enforcement and justice systems that have allowed this violence to continue for so long.”
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – In response to the announcement of the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin on all three counts in the killing of George Floyd, Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann released the following statement:
“Today we experienced a small measure of justice as Derek Chauvin was convicted and the killing of George Floyd was recognized as the criminal act it was. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that one conviction of one cop for a killing the whole world witnessed on video will change a fundamentally racist and dysfunctional system. The whole law enforcement system must be rethought and rebuilt from the ground up so that there are no more George Floyds, Daunte Wrights and Adam Toledos. But even that is just a start.
“Policing doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Systemic racism exists in policing because systemic racism exists in America. We must fundamentally uproot the disease of racism in our society and create a transformative path forward.”
To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.
MINNEAPOLIS — Everytown for Gun Safety, and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, Everytown’s grassroots networks, released the following statements on the jury’s verdict finding Derek Chauvin guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd.
“George Floyd should be alive today. No verdict can bring him back but we are glad the jury made the right decision,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We will continue to stand with the community in the fight for the long overdue changes to the racist systems that all too often lead to the death of Black people at the hands of the police. And we join the Floyd family in calling for Senate passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as one of the steps towards change.”
“This verdict represents one small but important step forward in the ongoing fight to prevent police violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “But as an organization that includes many survivors of gun violence, we know that no judge or jury can give the Floyd family what they want most of all, which is the return of their brother, father, and grandfather. Everytown is honoring the memory of George Floyd by fighting to stop police violence, and that includes pushing the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and working state by state to pass police accountability laws.”
“This verdict is a brief moment of relief during a tumultuous week, month and year in our nation,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Head of Movement Building at Everytown for Gun Safety. “There is nothing the jury could have said today to deliver justice to the Floyd family, but this was important nonetheless. As we move forward in this fight, our volunteers across the country stand ready to continue the fight to hold the perpetrators of police violence accountable — and will use our grassroots power to urge lawmakers to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
“Black lives matter. George Floyd’s life mattered,” said Jessica DeWeerth, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Mom Demand Action. “Today’s verdict is a step in the right direction — but it is an outlier and won’t bring George Floyd back. We stand with George’s family and community in demanding changes to a system that continues to perpetuate police violence against Black people.”
More information about police violence is available here.