Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama say a Minneapolis jury “did the right thing” in convicting former police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd.
On Tuesday (April 20), the former president released a statement sharing his thoughts on the verdict. “Today, a jury did the right thing,” he wrote. “For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done? In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.”
“True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognize that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last,” he continued. “And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.”
“While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient once,” Obama said. “We cannot rest.”
On Tuesday (April 20), Chauvin was found guilty on three charges, including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The 12-person jury deliberated for 10 hours before rendering their verdict.
After the judgment was read, Chauvin was immediately taken away in handcuffs. His bond has been revoked and he will remain in prison until his sentencing in eight weeks.
Check out Obama’s full statement below.
Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
President Biden spoke with Floyd’s family shortly after the verdict Tuesday.
In video of the phone call shared by the Floyd family’s attorney, Ben Crump, Biden is heard saying, “Nothing is gonna make it all better but at least, God, now there’s some justice.”
President Biden and VP Harris call the Floyd family after the GUILTY verdict! Thank you @POTUS & @VP for your support! We hope that we can count on you for the police reform we NEED in America! ?? pic.twitter.com/cg4V2D5tlI
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 20, 2021