Reactions are pouring in from people and leaders across California after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Following about 10 hours of deliberation, the jury Tuesday afternoon returned a guilty verdict on all three Chauvin was charged with in the killing, which was caught on graphic and shocking video, prompting a protest movement against police brutality that spread worldwide.
See how Californians and Angelenos are reacting below.
Gov. Gavin Newsom
“The hard truth is that, if George Floyd looked like me, he’d still be alive today. No conviction can repair the harm done to George Floyd and his family, but today’s verdict provides some accountability as we work to root out the racial injustice that haunts our society. We must continue the work of fighting systemic racism and excessive use of force. It’s why I signed some of the nation’s most progressive police reform legislation into law. I will continue working with community leaders across the state to hear concerns and support peaceful expression.”
Sen. Alex Padilla of California
Today’s verdict represents the promise of our justice system: that power cannot protect an offender, and that every victim deserves justice, regardless of the color of their skin. Too often, communities of color have been denied this promise.
Police officers’ disproportionate use of force against people of color is a stain on our nation. The list of Black and Brown Americans killed by law enforcement and denied accountability in court is abhorrently long.
I stand with the community of Minneapolis, the Black Lives Matter movement, and millions of Americans in mourning the murder of George Floyd by Officer Derek Chauvin. And I know that true justice will require work far beyond this verdict. Accountability for police officers should be an expectation, not an aberration. It is past time to reform our justice system to recognize at every level that Black lives matter.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco
L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón
In releasing his statement, Gascón said he is the nation’s only police officer to become an elected prosecutor.
The jury delivered accountability, but the future of equality rests squarely in America’s hands. This verdict is a critical step in the ongoing march toward restoring public trust in a criminal justice system that over-criminalizes communities of color and often fails to hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct.
As a former Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, I taught use of force and personally have faced circumstances when I could have used force but chose not to. As Los Angeles County District Attorney, I have used that experience to inform my decisions.
I will continue to advocate for better training for officers, stronger accountability in use-of-force cases and an independent review of officer-involved shootings. Effective policing must be fair and just to enhance our collective safety. We must continue to work together to build a justice system that promotes equal access to justice for all.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti
Last May, George Floyd was denied his most basic right: to breathe. Americans and people around the world marched for Justice. Today justice was served.
Let’s be clear that George Floyd is still not here with us. Justice was delivered though for his family, for our nation. And this country took a critical step forward towards healing towards reconciliation, and towards accountability for any of us who have lived through bad politics or justice was denied.
We’ve seen too painfully and felt too painfully what it means for our country to stagger backwards. So for today, for us to stand in the midst of our pain, it’s a good day. But let’s be clear as I said, this does not bring back George Floyd. It does not relieve the pain and the trauma we all carry with us.
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva
As we have all seen with the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case, we must have faith in the judicial process. The law will take its course, and justice will prevail. If a crime is committed, regardless of who the perpetrator is, they will be brought to justice. Victims will always matter. Transparency and accountability works both ways. When a law enforcement officer crosses the line from protected to oppressor, they must be held accountable.
L.A. Police Department Chief Michel Moore
Joe Paul, managing director for the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership
He spoke to KTLA from Grand Park in downtown L.A., where a rally was planned Tuesday afternoon.
Seeing that impunity is not just the normal rule of law enforcement officers is very refreshing. It’s a step in the right direction, considering how many other incidences have just gone unaddressed, to the degree of the crime.
So my initial reaction is joy. Do we rest on this? No. My brothers and sisters who are here today from the faith community, our intent is to keep our foot on the gas.
We want to be in a position of being preemptive. And so now that we don’t have to try to intervene to circumvent against some sort of negative reaction in terms of any kind of risk, now we could take this energy and direct it in the right place in terms of constructive conversations.
Eddie Anderson, pastor at McCarty Memorial Christian Church in Jefferson Park
Anderson also spoke to KTLA from Grand Park downtown.
My reaction is bittersweet. I think of Emmett Till, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, so many black folks who have been lynched. It took a black man dying in the street and the people marching to get the verdict today.
Today we hear the verdict, and a part of you feels like maybe America at this point realized that Black people are human. For so long America avoided the question of are Black people human in that nature. So it’s a step in the right direction.
The message today is America recognized our humanity. Tomorrow, let’s continue working towards equity and investment for our community making us whole. Let’s continue holding police officers accountable.