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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison commended the jury's Tuesday decision to uphold "accountability" in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial, and called for "systematic, societal change" going forward.

Why it matters: The verdict is a rare conviction of a police officer and many advocates expect it to be a crucial civil rights case in the ongoing fight for racial justice.

What he's saying: "I would not call today's verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration, but it is accountability which is the first step towards justice," Ellison said.

  • George Floyd's "death shocked the conscious of our community, our country, the whole world ... he mattered because he was a human being."
  • "We need true justice. That's not one case. That is a social transformation that says that nobody's beneath the law and nobody's above it."
  • "This verdict reminds us that we must make enduring, systematic, societal change."
  • "The work of our generation is to put unaccountable law enforcement behind us."

Ellison praised the bystanders present during Floyd's encounter with law enforcement that led to his death, calling them a "bouquet of humanity.” He added that their example demonstrates that "everyone can do something" in the fight for racial justice.

  • The attorney general also thanked the prosecution team, noting that “history shows that winning cases like these can be difficult."

Go deeper

Apr 19, 2021 - Podcasts

The Derek Chauvin trial heads to the jury

As of Monday, the prosecution and defense have made their cases in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murdering George Floyd 11 months ago. Now the verdict is up to the jury.

Axios Re:Cap is joined by Axios Twin Cities reporter Nick Halter, who is on the ground, to discuss the highlights from the trial, the decision facing the jury, and what could happen when a verdict is released.

Biden says "right verdict" in Chauvin trial is "overwhelming"

President Biden told reporters Tuesday that he's "come to know" George Floyd's family and that he's "praying the verdict is the right verdict" in Derek Chauvin's trial, as the nation awaits the jury's decision.

Why it matters: Officials fear a not-guilty decision in the high-profile case could inflame racial tensions and set off a new wave of riots. The jury was sequestered and entered deliberation after closing arguments on Monday.

Apr 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

George Floyd's brother says Biden called him ahead of Chauvin verdict

Philonise Floyd, the brother of the late George Floyd, revealed on NBC's "Today" that President Biden called him and his family on Monday "to let us know he was praying for us and hoping everything would come out to be ok."

Driving the news: The jury in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial is deliberating on Tuesday, after several weeks of witness presentations and arguments.