April 20, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A jury In Minneapolis has convicted a former police officer of all charges of murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd last year. As New Jersey reacts we will add to the statements posted so far below:
Statement from Governor Murphy on Today’s Guilty Verdict in the Trial of Derek Chauvin
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.
Senator Cory Booker
This verdict is justice served—but it is not justice for George Floyd. True justice would be a country where George Floyd would still be alive today. True justice demands action—it demands change & that we do everything we can to stop this from happening again & again & again.
Senator Bob Menendez:
Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds with no regard for his life. Had he not, George Floyd would still be alive. Grateful that the jury gave George’s family the justice they deserve. My thoughts are with them today, because I know that no amount of relief that justice has been served can erase the pain of their loss. Now it’s on us to take action to prevent encounters that end with senseless violence. Step 1: Pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and send it to President Joe Biden’s desk. Immediately.
Statement from Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal on Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial
This was the right verdict. But as a career prosecutor, I know how even a successful trial verdict can leave the families of victims with a sense of emptiness. A conviction cannot undo the trauma; it can never bring back a lost loved one. We simply hope it can bring some closure to those most in pain.
A flawed system laid the groundwork for the death of George Floyd. It’s a system that too often fails to recruit police from the communities they guard, fails to train officers properly, fails to place just limits on the use of force against citizens, and fails to create mechanisms for the independent investigation of misconduct. It’s a system that badly needs reform—here and across the country.
While I am heartened to see some justice done for Mr. Floyd, it is not enough. We must seize this moment, when the nation’s focus has turned to how our communities are policed, to ensure something meaningful comes from a man’s unnecessary death, and to continue with urgency the reforms we have begun to policing practices in New Jersey.
To learn more about what we are doing in the Garden State, visit www.njoag.gov/policing. There’s much more work to be done.
Statement on Verdict in the Trial of Derek Chauvin from the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey
“Today, the jury delivered justice not only for the family and loved ones of George Floyd, but for the millions of Americans of color who for decades have experienced a different reality of uneven treatment by law enforcement. What we witnessed in Minneapolis last May was not policing, but was murder and an absolute abdication of the values of protecting and serving. With this verdict, our country can begin the long and complex process of healing, which we know will also involve continued dialogue between communities and law enforcement, as well as ongoing police reform, increased transparency, and accountability. We thank the Jury for their service.”
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.
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. 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 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 system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized.
And as we continue the fight, we can draw strength from the millions of people — especially young people — who have marched and protested and spoken up over the last year, shining a light on inequity and calling for change. Justice is closer today not simply because of this verdict, but because of their work.
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.