“Here’s the truth about racial injustice: It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all, and it is holding our nation back from realizing our full potential.”Kamala Harris
The above quote is from Vice President Kamala Harris, from a speech following the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.
Barack and Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey, along with many other public figures reacted to Chauvin being found guilty on all charges. Chauvin had been charged with three counts: unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
The Obamas, in a joint statement:
“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? “
President Joe Biden made a statement as well:
“A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is, we still have work to do.”
The President and Vice President called the Floyd family personally after the verdict was read. Harris said during the call:
“I am just so thankful for the entire family for your courage, your commitment, your strength. This is a day of justice in America, and your family … has been real leaders in this moment when we needed you. In George’s name and memory, we are going to make sure his legacy is intact and that history will look at this moment and know that it was an inflection moment.”
On Twitter, Winfrey shared a photo of Floyd and wrote how she felt “relieved” and “emotional” after the verdict:
“I cried tears of joy as each verdict was read. I’m grateful to the witnesses and their testimonies. Grateful to Darnella Frazier. Grateful to every Juror for seeing and acknowledging what the world saw on that tape. Thank you, God, for real! “
In May 2020, 17-year-old Frazier used her phone to capture footage of Officer Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes. That footage had a tremendous impact on the final verdict. Frazier also reacted to the verdict. She tweeted:
“I just cried so hard. This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing through the roof. But to know GUILTY ON ALL 3 CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. George Floyd we did it!! Justice has been served.”
Over on Fox News, the adorably porcine Tucker Carlson suggested that the jurors were intimidated into a guilty verdict by the months of Racial Justice protests that followed the murder of Floyd:
“The jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict this afternoon: ‘Please don’t hurt us!’. Everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case. After nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by BLM, that was never in doubt.”
Chauvin’s sentencing hearing will be held in eight weeks. Although he had been out on bail since October, Judge Peter Cahill revoked Chauvin’s bail after the verdict. Chauvin will now await sentencing while behind bars in a state prison, the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis. He was placed in a housing unit that is separated from the general prison population.
For more on the reaction to the verdict, see WoW writer James St. James‘ post from Tuesday here.