House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty led a press conference following Derek Chauvin’s conviction in connection to the death of George Floyd.
A Minnesota jury found Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, guilty of three charges, including second-degree and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“This verdict, we certainly agree with, guilty on all charges, but we want our message to be very clear that this is just the first step. We know clearly that justice has been delayed,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty. “We are hopeful that today will be the catalyst to turn the pain, the agony, the justice delayed into actions that go far beyond today.”
Speaker Pelosi said she spoke with the family of George Floyd earlier in the day and called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“Today is a solemn day in America. Join me and my colleagues at the United States Capitol as we stand in solidarity after the Derek Chauvin murder trial verdict is announced.” ~ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“This verdict is a step. It’s a popping of the lock to be able to get to the place where we can open the door and really start to do the work to save lives,” said Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. “This was accountability, but it’s not yet justice. Justice for us is saving lives.”
“Justice was served today, and while that will not bring back George Floyd or the countless thousands lost to state-sanctioned violence, it means the millions of Americans struggling, fighting to breathe free are closer to living in a just, beloved community. Thank you to the judge, the jurors, and the officers of the court for your work. However, in spite of today’s verdict, our work continues. The Senate must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to ensure that no other father, mother, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, sister, brother or loved one again dies at the hands of the police without accountability. Without passing the bill that bears his name, true justice for George Floyd and countless other victims still remains to be served.” ~ Congresswoman Alma S. Adams
“Today’s guilty verdict is a pivotal moment for policing in America. The conviction of Derek Chauvin sends the message that we can and will hold officers accountable. But it’s important to note this is only the beginning. This one case, this instance of justice, is what is deserved and overdue for so many other families. Although nothing can bring George Floyd back, my hope is that his family can find some solace in knowing that justice was served. We are done dying.” ~ Congresswoman Nikema Williams
“The ruling in the Derek Chauvin trial is a clear step toward justice — for the Floyd family and our entire country. However there’s still much more work ahead to reform our criminal justice system. We need to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in order to prevent injustices and senseless loss of life in the future. Let’s continue working together to enact change and honor the memory of all who have lost their lives to police brutality.” ~ Congressman André Carson
“I can exhale. I can feel like justice was done. I could not have imagined it turning out any other way, But now we need to see what the sentencing is. The sentencing should be the absolute maximum. Forty years sounds good.” ~ Rep. Karen Bass
“We should not mistake a guilty verdict in this case as evidence that the persistent problem of police misconduct has been solved or that the divide between law enforcement and so many of the communities they serve has been bridged,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The Senate will continue that work as we strive to ensure George Floyd’s tragic death will not be in vain.”
“Justice was served. Conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is a moment of real accountability. And there also is much work to be done to get long term justice. And I think about the millions of people who took to the streets to make their voices heard. They couldn’t look away from the murder of George Floyd. And I think about all the people who haven’t had justice served, (who) lost their civil rights or their lives because of police violence. And that’s the work ahead of us.” ~ Sen. Tina Smith
“The trauma and tragedy of George Floyd’s murder must never leave us. It was a manifestation of a system that callously devalues the lives of Black people. Our struggle now is about justice – not justice on paper, but real justice in which all Americans live their lives free of oppression. We must boldly root out the cancer of systemic racism and police violence against people of color.” ~ Sen. Bernie Sanders