Apr 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Reactions to Chauvin verdict: "Justice for Black America is justice for all America"

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) (C) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) walk with their arms around each other after the Chauvin verdict
Reps. Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley walk with their arms around each other at the U.S. Capitol as members of the Congressional Black Caucus react to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

America is speaking out after the jury in Derek Chauvin's trial announced its guilty verdict after roughly 10 hours of deliberation.

What they're saying: Ben Crump, Floyd family lawyer, wrote, "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. ... Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"

Former President Barack Obama: "We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison: "I would not call today's verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice."

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus: "Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Andre Hill, Casey Goodson, Jr., Tamir Rice, and George Floyd should be alive, and no verdict will bring them back or undo the unimaginable heartache and loss their family, friends, and our communities have had to endure."

Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.): "My heart started racing and I was nervous because I know that we have a history of Black people not receiving the justice that they deserve in this country, but I'm grateful that justice was served today."

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.): "For a moment, we have a little bit of relief. ... Now we need to focus on transforming policing in the United States."

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.): "Let this be a turning point."

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.): "While this outcome should give us renewed confidence in the integrity of our justice system, we know there is more work to be done to ensure the bad apples do not define all officers."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): "If you are Black, you should feel comfortable about when you get in your car, not being shot by a police officer because your license was expired or your registration was expired. So there's a lot of work that has to be done."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah): "I have trust in our justice system. ... Obviously, I’m pleased the temperature will hopefully be brought down a bit."

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D): "True justice for George only comes through real, systemic change to prevent this from happening again. And the tragic death of Daunte Wright this week serves as a heartbreaking reminder that we still have so much more work to do to get there."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.): "That a family had to lose a son, brother and father; that a teenage girl had to film and post a murder, that millions across the country had to organize and march just for George Floyd to be seen and valued is not justice. And this verdict is not a substitute for policy change."

National Black Police Association: "We are extremely pleased at the outcome of this trial. Justice has indeed been served and history made in the memory of a victim cruelly murdered by the very people who were meant to protect [George Floyd]."

National Fraternal Order of Police: "The trial was fair and due process was served. We hope and expect that all of our fellow citizens will respect the rule of law and remain peaceful tonight and in the days to come."

Oprah Winfrey: "Relieved—and emotional in ways I didn't expect. I cried tears of joy as each verdict was read ... Grateful to every Juror for seeing and acknowledging what the world saw on that tape."

Athlete Naomi Osaka: "I was going to make a celebratory tweet but then I was hit with sadness because we are celebrating something that is clear as day. The fact that so many injustices occurred to make us hold our breath toward this outcome is really telling."

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones: "A measure of justice does not make for a just society."

What to watch: "The jury in the state trial of Derek Chauvin has fulfilled its civic duty and rendered a verdict convicting him on all counts ... the Justice Department has previously announced a federal civil rights investigation into the death of George Floyd," U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said. "This investigation is ongoing."

Go deeper