Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are hailing the jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for finding him guilty on all counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Obamas said, “Today, a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing. 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,” they added.
They continued to argue that “true justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day.”
“While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest. We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice systems. We will need to redouble our efforts to expand economic opportunities for those communities that have been too long marginalized.”
Finally, they said, “Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, in the hopes that they may find peace. And 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.”
Read the statement below:
Statement from President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama on the Trial of Derek Chauvin pic.twitter.com/DNmrtsnFCa— CSPAN (@cspan) April 20, 2021
Floyd, a Black man, died last May after Chauvin knelt on his neck and back for more than nine minutes, sparking months of protests against racism and police brutality.
On Tuesday, the jury in Chauvin’s trial found him guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree “depraved mind” murder, and second-degree manslaughter.