SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Jurors reached their verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, convicting the former Minneapolis officer in Floyd's death.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's May 2020 death.
San Diego County leaders reacted to the conviction, saying justice had been served and more work must be done.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said the conviction was "rightly called":
“The jury has rightly called this case what it was: murder. Derek Chauvin’s actions were an abuse of power and a disservice to the men and women who nobly protect and serve our communities – and now, he will be held accountable.
Today, millions of Americans know that their cries for justice were heard. In the same way people across the country rallied to speak up for George Floyd, it is my hope we will take up the important work that remains to address the systemic wrongs against Black people in this country and come together to heal. I encourage all San Diegans to honor George Floyd’s memory peacefully.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher said while "justice was served," the case reflects the need to address systemic racism in the country:
"Justice was served today in Minnesota, but this case is reflective of a serious problem of systemic racism and perpetual violence against communities of color across our nation. The work to fundamentally deliver justice and fairness for communities of color must continue."
Senator Alex Padilla), who's also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Tuesday's ruling also delivered on the promise that the country's justice system offers:
“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.”
Congresswoman Sara Jacobs said she was grateful for the jury's decision, but that it doesn't change to reality of policing:
“I am grateful for the jury’s guilty verdict today, but true justice would be having George Floyd at home with his family. One guilty verdict doesn’t change the reality of being Black in America.
For decades, Black Americans have had difficult conversations with their children about the dangers of police interactions gone wrong. And for decades, they’ve been subjected to video footage of their loved ones beaten and brutalized when the worst happens. We have to do better, and we will do better.
Americans across the country have been following this trial, and this verdict sends an important message of accountability. But for George Floyd’s family, this trial has been deeply personal. My heart breaks for them and my thoughts are with them during this incredibly emotional and difficult time.
Last month, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a bill to reform a broken system. It’s time for the Senate to pass the bill and for all of us to start the hard work of doing right by Black Americans.
Black lives matter, and George Floyd should still be here.”
San Diegans for Justice co-chairs Andrea St. Julian and Maresa Martin Talbert agreed with Congresswoman Jacobs, saying more work needs to be done to address policing:
“For many, it is satisfying that Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd. But justice has not yet been served.
Derek Chauvin did not act alone. His actions were produced by the system that trained and supported him. Until we change that system, we cannot move forward, and the death of George Floyd, and so many others like him, will have been in vain.
For George Floyd and his family to get real justice, we must ensure that murders such as Mr. Floyd’s never happen again to anyone in this country.
Real transparency and accountability in policing are critical to keeping our communities safe. Our hearts and thoughts are with the entire Floyd family and the people of Minneapolis.”
In the months since Floyd's death, police agencies and cities across the nation have taken a look at their policing policies and reforms. In San Diego County, many agencies have banned the use of the carotid restraint technique and changed policies surrounding the use of force.
California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) said following the verdict that California has taken a step forward with police reform but more reforms are needed:
“Our country has been continually rocked and in mourning over the killing of Black community members. These tragedies—and now the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial regarding the killing of George Floyd—leave many of us continuing to look for both immediate and long-term solutions. Justice was served today, but it cannot be a one-time thing. Training, accountability, and decertification certainly are all good strategies, but the real change has to start with recognizing that systemic racism and our implicit biases account for the biggest piece of the problem.
We, as a society—not just Black, Brown, Asian, or ethnically-diverse individuals—are beginning to confront the reality that systemic racism is the real root of the problem. We have to continue that change from within, accept the reality of what has been happening, and chart a course for change. If we don’t start with that—even as we work to implement laws, policies, guidelines, and measures to ensure progress—it either won’t have a lasting impact or won’t happen at all.
Former President Barack Obama issued a statement following the recent killing of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis that resonated with me: ‘…this is also a reminder of just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.’ In California, our reimagining took a big step forward with our landmark police reform law, AB 392 in 2019. That was the foundation. Now, our work continues to enact the kind of justice reform that can be the framework for a truly equitable, inclusive, and safe California for all.”
Civil rights activist and the President of the People's Association of Justice Advocates Rev. Shane Harris said those efforts for police reform should start at the top, with President Joe Biden signing reforms into law:
"Today is a major mark in the path toward reimagining policing in America however it is only a mark and we must acknowledge that. The reality is that there is a Derek Chauvin in a police department near you and the question is whether our local, state and federal governments will step up to protect the next George Floyd from being killed in our country.
Chauvin had multiple complaints against him during his career on the Minneapolis Police force but the city and the department failed to act. We will not have an Attorney General like Keith Ellison in every state going forward to press for justice like he did which is why I call on the U.S. Senate to urgently bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 to the Senate floor now, pass the legislation and send it to the President's desk to sign immediately. Black lives won't matter until Black life matters."
Rep. Scott Peters also reacted to the news:
The jury's decision to convict Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd marks a defining moment in our nation's history. This verdict delivered accountability, but our work to pursue a more fair and equitable America does not stop today. We as individuals, communities, and institutions must do more to change our systems, so they ensure justice, safety, and opportunity for all.
My thoughts are with George Floyd's loved ones this evening. I can’t begin to imagine their pain, and the pain of anyone who had to watch their brother, father, or son die in such a horrible way. I hope this verdict helps them begin to heal in peace.