Banks: Finally, at least for this moment, justice prevailed in Minneapolis
It’s a relief, a sign of progress and an affirmation of the energy and outrage that drove the demand for justice.
But the conviction of Derek Chauvin does not mean our broken system is fixed. Let’s not assign it more power than it deserves.
I’m grateful that, unlike the jury in the trial against the officers who beat Rodney King, these 12 jurors did indeed believe what they’d seen on that devastating video of Chauvin stealing the life of George Floyd.
Smith: With Chauvin’s conviction, justice was served for once. I’ll cheer when it’s a norm
Shortly before jurors returned to the courtroom Tuesday, George Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, was asked by TV reporters what it would mean to get convictions on all three charges against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
“It’ll mean change,” she said through nervous tears. And that, maybe we, the people, “can start to believe again in justice.”
After deliberating for less than 12 hours, the jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for using his knee to pin a terrified Floyd to the concrete until he stopped breathing.
What happens to Derek Chauvin now that he’s been convicted of murdering George Floyd
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, was handcuffed and taken into custody Tuesday after being found guilty of all three counts against him.
Twelve jurors found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, ultimately deciding that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death and that his actions were not that of a reasonable officer.
Prosecutors didn’t have to prove Chauvin’s restraint was the sole cause of Floyd’s death, only that his conduct was a “substantial causal factor.” They also had to prove his actions were unreasonable, because Chauvin was authorized to use force as a police officer, as long as that force would be considered reasonable by an objective officer.
‘Human being, not a political cause’: Will Floyd’s death, Chauvin conviction spur reforms?
ATLANTA — Racial justice advocates and legal experts on Tuesday hailed former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction in the killing of George Floyd, expressing hopes the case could spur broader police reforms and help crack the “blue wall of silence” often adhered to by police when one of their own commits a crime.
“This is a positive step in signaling that there can be accountability for police officers who kill,” said Mark Osler, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota.
The Hennepin County jury found Chauvin guilty on all three counts against him, nearly a year after the white officer knelt on Floyd, a Black man, for more than nine agonizing minutes, killing him and setting off a wave of nationwide racial justice protests.
Many longtime observers of law enforcement issues saw a decisive indictment not only of the individual in question — Chauvin — but of the nature of policing in America, particularly the pernicious racial inequalities that the case came to symbolize.
“Even though the system wasn’t on trial,” said Jonathan M. Smith, the executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, “the whole system really was on trial.”
Those who have long followed similar cases said they were braced for disappointment.
Sports figures react to Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction with mix of joy and wariness
It was last summer that pro athletes raised their voices in unison to protest the deaths of Black people at the hands of police, their protest temporarily shutting down sports across the country.
So it makes sense that Tuesday, after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, athletes spoke up again in tones that ranged from joyous to guarded.
“ACCOUNTABILITY,” LeBron James tweeted.
Magic Johnson was more effusive: “Thank God … guilty! Justice has been served!”
A little closer to the situation, the Minnesota Timberwolves and their WNBA colleagues, the Lynx, posted a statement: “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.”
The intersection of sports and social justice dates at least as far back as Jackie Robinson shattering baseball’s color barrier in 1947. The 1960s were marked by Muhammad Ali’s refusal to go to Vietnam and a protest from sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith, who raised their fists on an Olympic podium.
Watch George Floyd’s family react to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial
George Floyd’s family gathered to hear the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd.
President Biden says conviction of Derek Chauvin is ‘a step forward’
President Biden said the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd marked “a step forward” toward equality in remarks from the White House on Tuesday night two hours after the guilty verdict was reached.
“No one should be above the law, and today’s verdict sends that message,” Biden said. “But it’s not enough.”
Stating that Floyd’s murder last May “ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism ... that is a stain on this nation’s soul,” Biden also recognized the trauma of the legal process itself and a trial that featured the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
“It’s a trauma on top of the fear so many people of color live with every day,” he said.
Biden, speaking in the White House Cross Hall, waited to speak until the conclusion of two news conferences in Minnesota, one where prosecutors spoke and another featuring several of Floyd’s relatives and their attorneys.
Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking before Biden, said the Senate should pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and urged the country to grapple with its history of systemic racism.
“Today we feel a sigh of relief,” she said. “Still, it cannot take away the pain. A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. Here’s the truth about systemic racism: It is not just a Black America problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of ‘liberty and justice for all.’”
Hours earlier in anticipation of the verdict, Biden canceled remarks he planned to deliver about his proposed infrastructure plan. He and Harris watched the verdict delivered live on TV in the dining room just off the Oval Office, the White House said. By the time he stepped to the lectern, he and Harris had already spoken with Floyd’s family, with the president telling them he was “relieved” that there was “at least some justice” and vowing to push forward with police reform legislation, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
An attorney for the Floyd family, Benjamin Crump, tweeted a video of that conversation. Biden’s words to the family left little doubt about what he had meant earlier in the day when he told reporters, somewhat cryptically, that he hoped the jury would return “the right verdict” because the evidence, he said, was “overwhelming.”
Column: The guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial won’t be enough for real progress
Would Derek Chauvin, the former police officer, be on the streets today without the video?
The answer to that question — not the jury’s verdict — is the true indicator of how much progress has been made since George Floyd’s death.
Chauvin being found guilty on all three charges of murder and manslaughter is a relief. But relief won’t bring Floyd back. And that’s why even a guilty verdict was never going to be sufficient. The goal has to be preventing the next George Floyd from happening.
Hollywood hails Chauvin guilty verdict: ‘Today we can breathe a sigh of relief’
The verdict is in: Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all three counts in the murder of George Floyd — and celebrities are among the many sharing their thoughts on social media.
“A beginning ... a small grain of hope for our future,” singer Mariah Carey tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
Among sports figures weighing in, former NFL player Emmanuel Acho tweeted, “You don’t applaud a fish for swimming and you don’t applaud the justice system for providing justice. But thankfully, today, we can breathe a sigh of relief.”
Watch President Biden address the nation after Derek Chauvin verdict
Watch: Judge reads guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin trial
The jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin convicted the former Minneapolis police officer of murder in the death of George Floyd.
The Obamas release statement after the verdict in Derek Chauvin trial
Watch: President Biden and Vice President Harris call the Floyd family
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called George Floyd’s family after the verdict, speaking to them over speakerphone while they stood in a courthouse hallway.
“Nothing is going to make it all better,” Biden said. “But at least, God, now there’s some justice.” Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the family, tweeted a video of the conversation.
Some members of Floyd’s family choked back tears as they spoke to the president. Biden said that he’s been “watching every second of this” and that “we’re all so relieved” by Derek Chauvin being found guilty on all three counts. He also promised to keep working on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Harris spoke next.
“In George’s name and memory, we are going to make sure his legacy is intact and that history is going to look on this moment and know that it’s an inflection moment,” she said.
Harris added, “We’re going to make something good come out of this tragedy.”
Biden chimed in. “You better all get ready, because when we do it, we’re going to put you on Air Force One and get you here.”
“We’re going to hold you to it, President Biden!” someone said as the family laughed.
“I guarantee it,” he said.
After tense wait, Los Angeles welcomes guilty verdict in trial of Derek Chauvin
Sporadic celebrations broke out in and around Los Angeles on Tuesday shortly after the verdict was read in the case of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd.
The sound of a pot clanging in celebration could be heard ringing in the hills of Mount Washington. On a hilly street in Silver Lake, a woman screamed, “Yes!” through an open window.
LeBron James, Naomi Osaka and other athletes react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on charges of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, last year.
Here are immediate reactions from around the sports world after the verdict was read.
Pelosi thanks George Floyd for his sacrifice, calls for police reform bill to pass
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she spoke to Floyd’s family around 3 p.m. and watched the reading of the verdict with the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Thank God the jury validated what we saw,” Pelosi said.
Then she thanked Floyd for his sacrifice.
“Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice, for being there to call out to your mom — how heartbreaking was that — call out for your mom, ‘I can’t breathe,’ but because of you and because of thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi joined calls for the verdict to be an impetus for change, and for Congress to pass policing reform, an effort that began after Floyd’s death but quickly stalled.
“Unless we can change the law, this will be an episode. We change the law, we’re going down a different path altogether,” Pelosi said.
Gov. Newsom: ‘We must continue our work to root out the racial injustice that haunts our society’
Attorney for George Floyd’s family calls verdict a ‘turning point in American history’
MINNEAPOLIS — Benjamin Crump, an attorney for George Floyd’s family, said in a statement after the verdict: “Painfully earned justice has arrived for George Floyd’s family and the community here in Minneapolis, but today’s verdict goes far beyond this city and has significant implications for the country and even the world. This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement.”
Rep. Maxine Waters reacts to guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin trial
Derek Chauvin found guilty of murdering George Floyd
MINNEAPOLIS — The jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin convicted the former Minneapolis police officer of murder in the death of George Floyd.
After deliberating for less than 12 hours, the jury returned its verdict Tuesday on Chauvin, a white former officer who was found guilty on all charges: second-degree manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder in the death of Floyd, a Black man. Chauvin, 45, could be sentenced to 40 years in prison.
L.A.'s city-run vaccination sites closing as a precaution before Derek Chauvin verdict
The scene at George Floyd Square
Minneapolis courthouse draws crowd as jury starts deliberating in Derek Chauvin trial
Police patrolled the building’s perimeter as protesters’ ranks swelled during the day, many wearing shirts, carrying signs and flags in support of George Floyd, 46, the Black man Chauvin is accused of killing on May 25.
Jury reaches verdict in Derek Chauvin trial
MINNEAPOLIS — The jury reached a verdict Tuesday at the murder trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, the Black man who was pinned to the pavement with a knee on his neck in a case that set off a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
The verdict, which was reached after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days, was to be read late in the afternoon in a city on edge against the possibility of unrest.