Image credits: AP
Former US President Barack Obama welcomed the Tuesday ruling as reactions poured in for the milestone verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder trial of George Floyd where the ex-cop was found guilty on all charges. 12 jurors found Chauvin on April 20 was found guilty of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on a 46-year-old’s neck in May 2020. In the aftermath, Obama said that the jury did the right thing but true justice still requires much more and added that “we cannot rest.”.
Obama said, "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. While today's verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest,” he added.
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. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
US President Joe Biden on April 20 also welcomed the verdict and called it a “step forward.” He also said that Floyd’s death was “a murder in full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world” to see systemic racism among authorities. However, he further warned, “It’s not enough. We can’t stop here. We’re going to deliver real change and reform. We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again.”
Today, a jury in Minnesota found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.— President Biden (@POTUS) April 20, 2021
The verdict is a step forward.
And while nothing can ever bring George Floyd back, this can be a giant step forward on the march towards justice in America.
The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death in May 2020 began on March 29. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck reportedly for 9 minutes, 29 seconds, as the Black man laid face-down in handcuffs. The dramatic arrest triggered anti-racism protests which in the United States, became one of the largest civil rights movements since the 1960s. Due to the COVID-19 facemask, Chauvin’s reaction on April 20 was obscured. His bail was immediately revoked. While the most serious charge against him carried up to 40 years in prison, sentencing will start in two months.