Local leaders react to Chauvin murder trial verdict
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leaders from the City of Tallahassee, Leon County and the State of Florida are speaking following the guilty verdict rendered Tuesday in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.
Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey:
US Representative Al Lawson:
“Today, our criminal justice system got it right. Those who abuse their power and commit criminal acts must be held accountable. The whole world watched that tragic 9 minute and 29 second video as the air left George Floyd’s body. He didn’t deserve to die. He was a son, a father, a brother and he reignited a movement. This trial has reopened deep wounds, and now our community must go through a period of healing. The guilty verdict was a victory for his family, for all those who peacefully marched in the streets, and for those who have lost loved ones to senseless violence.
“It has been a very difficult year for many of us across this nation. How many more videos do we have to watch before we see change? We rely on our system to protect us all – and there is no room for racial bias. We need to set a new standard in policing. The Senate must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
State Senator Perry Thurston (D-Ft. Lauderdale):
“Judgement has been rendered, and justice has been served. The death of George Floyd laid bare the disparate treatment at the hands of law enforcement many in the minority community throughout our country have sounded the alarm over, cried over, and protested over for years. With the conviction of Derek Chauvin today, those voices were finally heard.
“It is my hope that those who would offer crackdowns on peaceful protestors instead of examining the reasons for those protests, heed the lessons contained in that judgement of guilt. Police officers are just as human as the rest of us. There are good officers and, unfortunately, a few bad ones among them. Silencing the outcries for justice when an officer goes rogue serves no one, and heightens the distrust between those in blue and those they have pledged to serve and protect.
“George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, when asked about waiting for the verdict to come in, responded: ‘We have faith. We’re going to get through this. After we get the verdict and we get this conviction, we’ll be able to breathe.’
“To George Floyd’s brother, his many supporters, and the millions of people here and around the world who marched in solidarity to demand accountability for this murder, justice has finally been delivered. It is time to take that breath.”
Ben Crump, attorney for family of George Floyd:
“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. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America. This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state. We thank Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team for their fierce dedication to justice for George. But it does not end here. We have not forgotten that the other three officers who played their own roles in the death of George Floyd must still be held accountable for their actions, as well.
Florida A&M Head Football Coach Willie Simmons:
Dr. Larry Robinson, Florida A&M University President:
At Florida A&M University we reaffirm our commitment to fairness, equity and justice. We are dedicated to educating and graduating students, like student leaders of the Tallahassee civil rights movement, Wilhelmina Jakes, Carrie Patterson and Patricia Stephens, who are willing to work tirelessly for a society in which African Americans and persons of color can espouse hope rather than harbor fear for their sons and daughters. The verdict today is not the end but could mark a new beginning as we endeavor to live in accordance with the ideals we have been taught and long prayed for but have not yet experienced.
For more than 133 years, FAMU has been a beacon of light for those who seek to improve themselves and their communities. We stand ready to work with any willing partners to provide practical and workable solutions so we can bring everyone into the light of the American dream and out of the shadows that stifle us all.
U.S. Congressman Neal Dunn (R):
“Today, justice was served. Derek Chauvin broke the law, and now, he is being held accountable for his actions. I believe the jury made the right decision based on the evidence presented.
It’s important to remember that the few do not represent the many and that there are far more positive things local law enforcement officers do for our communities than negative. I am incredibly grateful for the law enforcement officers who protect and serve our communities. That said, those who break the law must be held accountable.
I am praying for the city of Minneapolis and their police department, as well as George Floyd’s family. Additionally, I pray for our country to heal in the days ahead.”
A Minneapolis jury found Chauvin guilty on all three counts - second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter - in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
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