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

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The conviction of a police officer for the murder of a black man during an arrest captured on video and watched 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.

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Family and legal team

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.”

LaTonya Floyd, George Floyd’s sister: “I feel like heaven is standing on my shoulders. My brother got justice, and that’s very rare.”

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Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump: “”We frame this moment for all of us, not just George Floyd. This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, those who champion justice over injustice, those who champion morals over immorality.”


President Joe Biden: “’I can’t breathe’. Those were George Floyd’s last words. We cannot let them die with him. We have to keep hearing them. We must not turn away. We cannot turn away. This can be a moment of significant change.”

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.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict. My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd’s family and friends.”

Former US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama: “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.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We must make sure other families don’t suffer the same racism, violence & pain, and we must enact the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act.”

Former US secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: “George Floyd’s family and community deserved for his killer to be held accountable. Today, they got that accountability. Always and forever, Black lives matter.”

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz: “Today’s verdict is an important step forward for justice in Minnesota. The trial is over, but our work has only begun.”

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison: “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice.”

Rights groups and community leaders

American Civil Liberties Union: “While today’s verdict is a small win for police accountability and may help heal a grieving community, the systems that allowed George to be murdered… remain fully intact.”

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): “Justice has prevailed in the case against George Floyd’s killer Derek Chauvin, but the work is not done! We must keep fighting to end qualified immunity, and we must get police reform NOW.”

Reverend Dr Jacqui Lewis, anti-racism campaigner: “It’s not justice… but this is accountability. Now we demand a new standard: You will be held accountable. And maybe, just maybe: Our Black Lives Matter.”


National Fraternal Order of Police: “The trial was fair and due process was served. We hope and expect that all of our fellow citizens will respect the rule of law and remain peaceful tonight and in the days to come.”

Minneapolis Police Federation: “There are no winners in this case and we respect the jury’s decision.”

Celebrities and sports personalities

Oprah Winfrey: “I cried tears of joy as each verdict was read. I’m grateful to the witnesses and their testimonies.”

Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team: “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.”

Earvin “Magic” Johnson basketball player: “Thank God… guilty! Justice has been served!!

Whoopi Goldberg, actress: “Guilty Guilty Guilty… No-one wins. George Floyd is still gone and finally someone was responsible… Derek Chauvin.

Mariah Carey, singer: “A beginning… a small grain of hope for our future.”

Stephen Colbert, US comedian and writer: “Hopefully this is a step toward a future where police being held accountable for their actions isn’t headline material, and to hope that accountability today is determined for tomorrow.”


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