Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday afternoon of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.READ MORE: NYPD: 4 Suspects In Custody After 3 Subway Riders Slashed Within Minutes In Lower Manhattan
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the following statement —
“The verdicts delivered today were a powerful statement of accountability. George Floyd’s family and his loved ones got well-deserved closure, and all of us who deeply and personally felt his loss gained hope in the possibility of progress.
“But while I’m grateful that the jury returned these verdicts, accountability is not the same as justice. It doesn’t make an unacceptable situation acceptable, and it doesn’t bring Gianna’s dad back. But it must fuel our continued march towards equity.
“Emmett Till. Medgar Evers. Rodney King. Amadou Diallo. Sean Bell. Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Philando Castile. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Daunte Wright. Adam Toledo. Our country has never fully lived up to its founding ideal, of liberty and justice for all. Still, our greatest attribute has always been our optimism, our belief in an ever better future, our faith in the strength of humanity.
“We saw that faith in streets across the country last summer and over the last 11 months. Our charge now is to channel our grief, our anger, our righteous energy, and make real, positive, and long-overdue change happen.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted in response to the verdict, saying, “Today, justice was served.”
He went on to say, “Make no mistake, today’s verdict is not the end. This is the beginning, as we continue to create real reforms in policing and make a safer country for all Americans. I urge peace and calm tonight as we begin the work of achieving further progress.”
Make no mistake, today’s verdict is not the end. This is the beginning, as we continue to create real reforms in policing and make a safer country for all Americans. I urge peace and calm tonight as we begin the work of achieving further progress.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 20, 2021
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. released a statement saying in part, “The guilty verdict in the murder trial of police officer Derek Chauvin delivers a powerful message to our nation — and the world — affirming the intrinsic value of George Floyd’s life while repudiating the barbaric actions of his killer and the excessive use of force by police in general.”
He went on to say, “With this landmark verdict, our justice system faces an inflection point. Our arrival here owes as much to centuries of systemic racism embedded in the very fabric of our society as it does to Mr. Chauvin’s reprehensible disregard for Mr. Floyd’s life. Because while this conviction brings a modicum of much-needed justice to the family of George Floyd, it does not, of course, bring him back nor does it deliver justice to the families of the numerous Black men, women, and children whose needless deaths at the hands of police resulted in no criminal accountability — whether in recent years or across every generation of American history.”
Vance added law enforcement policies are needed to move the justice system forward, saying his office established a new policy during last summer’s demonstrations to decline to prosecute arrests on charges of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct.
“With our city and nation once again at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront systemic racism and police violence, I want to make clear that the Manhattan DA’s Office will continue to protect New Yorkers’ right to peaceful protest in the aftermath of this trial,” Vance said.
New York Rep. Mondaire Jones released a statement saying in part, “In finding Derek Chauvin guilty of murder, the jury has ensured that he is held accountable for his heinous, unconscionable crime. But let me be clear, this verdict is not full justice, for in a just world, George Floyd would still be alive.”READ MORE: Long Island Hispanic Bar Association Organizes Free Prom Dress Boutique For Freeport High School Students
He went on to call for reimagining policing in America and addressing the violence of systemic racism.
“This project starts with passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement officers, end chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and create the first-ever national registry of police misconduct. I’m proud to have helped pass this bill in the House, but now the Senate majority must do its job. Still, it would only be the beginning,” Jones said.
The Legal Aid Society released a statement saying in part, “While this conviction holds Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions, it does not cure the epidemic of police violence or address the racist systems that perpetuate it.”
Reverend Dr. Calvin Butts, a senior pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, spoke to CBS2 after hearing the verdict.
“I’m sad because two lives, George Floyd’s and now Chauvin’s, two lives were destroyed because of hate and bigotry, racism, insensitivity in the United States of America. What does justice look like? It won’t bring back George Floyd. It won’t bring back Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and so many other names that I can call. Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland. So I think we are at a sad point, because while there may be some who will celebrate, this is not a time for celebration. There will be many that this doesn’t impact at all. So those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, they’re going to continue their racist behavior. Will the United States government now do a deeper dive into the racism in police departments across this nation? And what about Daunte Wright, just a few miles away? Still, we have to look at police behavior in that case. And so while I’m happy to see that, and happy is too strong of a word. While, I am… It’s somehow comforting in a way to see that Chauvin has been convicted on all three counts. I still recognize the deep hatred in this nation,” he said.
Butts said while he is encouraged to see Chauvin found guilty on all three counts, he doesn’t believe “it’s going to make that much of a difference,” calling the conviction “baby, baby steps.”
“So now, I would say, let’s go back to the basics. Let’s work on changing some of the things that cause this. Not only our educational curriculum, you know, that still does not really recognize the achievements of all of us in the United States of America, but the the housing issues that we face, the drug epidemics that we are dealing with, and the local issues around our police. I’m happy to know that we have a chief of patrol now in New York, who is committed to our communities, all communities, but I think that’s where we need to focus our attention,” Butts said.
Butts also urged New Yorkers to get out and vote, especially in the upcoming mayoral election, in order to affect change.
“I think most importantly, one of the most important things is to thank all of the people, particularly the young people who took to the streets, all of the young people who opened up their cameras and were not afraid to speak out and testify. All of the young people all over this country. Black, white, yellow, red, brown. That is important because if they had not been in the streets, demanding justice, demanding that this be brought to trial, it would not have happened. So that’s very important. I want to thank them. I’ve been involved in demonstrations across the years, and without that energy, that demand, that anger, that enthusiasm, this would not have happened,” Butts said.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy released the following statement —
“George Floyd, like countless other Black Americans whose futures have been unjustly stolen from them, should be alive today. While today’s verdict provides some measure of justice and accountability for the Floyd family and millions of our fellow Americans, all of us must remember that systemic racism is still pervasive in American life. While we are glad that justice has prevailed in this case, George Floyd’s murder is a painful reminder that inequality has deep roots in American history, starting during slavery and continuing to the present day in areas such as wages, health care, housing, education, and treatment by law enforcement. This has been a trying moment in our nation’s history, but we must be resolute in our fight for justice to ensure that the pain of yesterday, and the pain of today, does not become the pain of tomorrow.”
Hoboken, New Jersey, Police Chief Ken Ferrante tweeted, “Every good cop in the United States just said ‘Thank God!’. A diverse jury just delivered justice.”
Every good cop in the United States just said "Thank God!". A diverse jury just delivered justice. https://t.co/kTz2r56S0d
— Chief Ken Ferrante (@KenFerrante) April 20, 2021
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker released a statement saying in part, “This verdict is a reflection of how our legal system is supposed to work: an individual guilty of a horrific crime is being held accountable for his actions. But this verdict did not and will not fix what is so deeply broken in that system.”MORE NEWS: Crucifix Toppled, American Flag Destroyed At Brooklyn Church
Stay with CBSNewYork.com for the latest on this developing story.