Former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been convicted of the murder of George Floyd.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, jurors returned from deliberation to find Chauvin guilty on all charges relating the Memorial Day 2020 murder, where he was seen and filmed kneeling on the Floyd’s neck.
Chauvin was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Many close to the trial have expressed their delight with the verdict.
“Now no verdict can bring George Perry Floyd back to us, but this verdict does give a message back to his family,” said prosecutor, Jerry Blackwell.
“That he was somebody, that his life mattered, that all of our lives matter, and that’s important.”
“And I also hope that this verdict, for [all of us], will help us further along the road for a better humanity,” Blackwell continued.
“I wanna thank the jury for their service,” said prosecutor, Steven Schleicher, “for doing what was right, what decent, and correct, and speaking the truth, and finding the right verdict in this case.”
“First and foremost, this is for you George Floyd, and for your family and friends,” said prosecutor, Matthew Frank.
“America, let’s pause for a moment to proclaim this historical moment, not just for the legacy of George Floyd, but for the legacy of America,” said Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump. “The legacy of trying to make America for all Americans. So that George Floyd’s victory, and America’s quest for equal justice under the law, would be intertwined.”
“We will have to [March] for life,” said Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, after referencing the recent police shooting death of Daunte Wright, “We have to protest, because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle.”
Floyd later added, “I get calls and dms from [all over the world], they’re all saying the same thing! ‘We won’t be able to breathe until you able to breathe.’ Today, we are able to breathe again!”
At the time of writing, a lot of ESU’s student organizations and staff have reacted to the verdict as well.
“As we prepare for a verdict, we wanted to take time to remind our warriors… Black Lives Matter. You Matter.,” a statement put out by ESU’s Student Activity Association (SAA) on their Instagram read.
SAA’s statement was reposted on the stories of the Instagram accounts of ESU’s Student Government Association (SGA), Black Student Union (BSU), and Resident Hall Association (RHA).
ESU’s Center for Multicultural Affairs and Inclusive Education (CMAIE) posted, “Guilty,” on their Instagram account. The hashtag, “#BlackLivesMatter,” was in the bottom right corner of the post.
CMAIE’s post was reposted by ESU’s BSU, Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC), and SAA Instagram accounts.
ESU’s GSC Instagram account also posted the words, “Guilty, Guilty, Guilty,” in descending order, with the hashtag, “#BlackLivesMatter,” at the bottom.
In an email, vice president of campus life and inclusive excellence, Dr. Santiago Solis, offered the ESU community various programs and resources relating to the trial, and healing from it.
“We acknowledge the need to come together as Warriors to process the ongoing traumatic events impacting all of us, but in particular the Black and Brown communities,” Dr. Solis said, “We need each other during these difficult times to support one another as we attempt to move toward racial reconciliation and healing.”
“This does not automatically fix systemic racism,” wrote ESU history professor, Dr. Shannon Frystak, on twitter, “This does not fix policing problems. What it does is acknowledge, in this one moment, is that Black Lives Matter. I, for one, am ready to work for change. Let’s do this! #antiracism.”
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