How People Are Reacting to Derek Chauvin Being Found Guilty for George Floyd’s Murder

330 days after George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin pinned Floyd down on May 25, 2020, after the latter was suspected of using a counterfeit bill at a convenience store. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, refusing to relent even as Floyd despaired repeatedly that he could not breathe.

His death, which was filmed by onlookers and went viral, sparked widespread protests across the world and a renewed dedication to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Chauvin’s guilty verdict marks the first time in Minnesota history that a white police officer has been held accountable for the death of a Black man.

As news of Chauvin’s fate broke, many prominent figures took to social media to share their thoughts on the outcome of the three-week trial.

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman took the opportunity to remind us that, the guilty verdict does not change the tragic situation that sparked international outrage, Tweeting: “A reminder that victory would be George Floyd being alive. Every day Black Americans worry if they will be next is another day without justice.”

Former US President Barack Obama commended the jury for making the right decision, writing: “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.”

Scandal star Kerry Washington also chose to blend triumph with a further call to action writing, “A guilty #verdict. But this fight for justice is not over.”

“We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us. But RIGHT NOW please take CARE of yourself. And let’s take care of each other. Prayers and love to the family of #GeorgeFloyd.”

Meanwhile, former US Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton expressed relief for Floyd’s family in a Tweet that read,

“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.”

Emmanuel Acho, who released his popular Instagram series Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man in the wake of Floyd’s death, reasoned that while the verdict was welcomed, it should have also been a no-brainer.

“You don’t applaud a fish for swimming and you don’t applaud the justice system for providing justice.” he wrote. “But thankfully, today, we can breathe a sigh of relief.”

Bernice King, daughter of legendary Civil Rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jr, commended everyone who fought for justice in a poignant post that read:

“I can now take a breath. The moral arc of the universe is long, but today it bent toward justice thanks to the millions of people under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter standing up, speaking up and not letting up for humanity. #GeorgeFloyd #BeLove.” 

Ahead of the verdict, US Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement that regardless of what happened, the systemic suffering of Black people would not be erased.

“Let’s say there is a guilty verdict on the highest charge, it will not take away the pain of the Floyd family,” Harris said.

“It will not take away the pain of the communities, all communities, regardless of their colour or geographic location, that felt sadness and anger in what they witnessed in that video.”

After Chauvin was found guilty, Harris and US President Joe Biden called Floyd’s family with Harris saying, “History will look back and know that this is an inflection moment. We really do believe that with your leadership and the president that we have in the White House, we are going to make something good come out of this tragedy.”

“You better all get ready because when we do it, we are going to put you on Air Force One and get you here,” Biden added.

The commander-in-chief also mentioned the fact that Floyd’s daughter Gianna, had said her late dad was going to change the world.

Said Biden, “He is going to start to change it now.”

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