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‘George Floyd would still be alive if he looked like me’ | Politicians, organizations speak following Chauvin verdict

Northern Californians are reacting online and in public demonstrations following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all counts for the murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Bystander video viewed around the world, and multiple police body cameras, captured Chauvin kneeling on Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds in the street outside Cup Foods that night. He was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and Judge Peter Cahill later reinstated a third-degree murder charge against him.

The case reached every corner of the United States -- sparking protests over in cities large and small. In Northern California, activists have already started gathering in Cesar Chavez Plaza and Oak Park in response to the jurors' decision.

Here is how they are reacting. ABC10 will update this throughout the day:

7:15 p.m.

Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln spoke out on the verdict, issuing the following statement on Twitter:

"Today, our nation has witnessed accountability, but the verdict will not fill the void for the family of George Floyd. May this day be a step toward healing and a reminder of the work ahead of us to ensure liberty and justice for all."

7:05 p.m. 

Following the guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial, Congresswoman Doris Matsui issued the following statement:

“Last year, George Floyd’s murder vividly reminded us of the systemic injustice and racism that continues across our nation. In the wake of his death, we have seen Americans of all backgrounds stand up, speak out, and demand justice, not just for Mr. Floyd, but for so many others."

“Today’s verdict is the first step in the right direction – accountability for Derek Chauvin’s unconscionable actions. Yet, this conviction alone cannot heal the wounds of our nation. It’s long past time to enact the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We must acknowledge our repeated failures and enact meaningful, lasting change."

“Today, we take solace in this verdict and keep George Floyd, his family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow, we renew our commitment to our Black community and all Americans as we move forward to ensure a future built upon basic human dignity and justice.” 

5:45 p.m.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued a statement in response to the guilty verdicts in the Chauvin trial, saying in part:

“Today's verdict is an important and long-overdue step for accountability, yet tremendous work remains if we want to truly eliminate the systemic racism that persists in all of our institutions--including public education--and which has denied students and communities justice for generations.”

"It is also important to remember that despite today's verdict, our students, educators, and families have experienced extraordinary trauma as they've struggled to make sense of this tragedy, the trial, and everything that transpired in between. I encourage all of our schools in the coming days to create space for open, honest dialogue for students and adults to process their emotions and use their voices to create lasting change.”

5:25 p.m.

California Sen. Steven Bradford, (D - Gardena), released the following statement in response to the Chauvin verdict: 

“Almost one year ago California leaders gathered to kneel at the capitol steps in silence, honor and respect for George Floyd’s life. This verdict is bittersweet because he would be alive today if not for the color of his skin. Mr. Chauvin is certainly guilty on all counts, but how many other officers continue to trample on the lives and rights of people in this country and remain in power? Without that 9 minute and 29 second video, America would have us all believe we did not witness something that happens to African Americans on a regular basis throughout this country. We cannot ignore the role that race played in this case. 

Mr. Floyd’s death was nothing but a modern-day lynching. Police officers are not supposed to be executioners. Today’s verdict is far from justice, but it’s a huge step in the right direction. Now we must make sure that the sentencing matches the crime. If California is serious about protecting the lives of people of color then we have to acknowledge the racist blind spot in America and hold police officers accountable. Change must come to policing in our state. As Chair of Legislative Black Caucus and Senate Public Safety Committee, I am committed to continuing the push for legislation that does just that.”

5 p.m. 

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber spoke out on Twitter, Tuesday evening, following the Chauvin verdict:

“While I'm relieved by today's decision, I am also conscious of the fact that it is not enough. We must continue fighting for African American dignity in this country. True justice would be George Floyd getting to watch his daughter Gianna grow up.

The conviction of Derek Chauvin is a step towards accountability, but it alone cannot undo the fact that for more than 400 years, the laws of this land have supported the dehumanization and attempted genocide of Black people. That is a fact of life.

We must continue demanding a world where Black people can live their lives free of police brutality and state sponsored fear. Until that day comes, we must continue to organize and fight for our rights and the rights of all marginalized folks.

We've come too far to give up now. The fight for justice continues.”

4:30 p.m.

Sacramento City Councilmembers Mai Vang and Eric Guerra each issued statements on Twitter in the wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict.

“Gianna Floyd, George’s daughter, is right when she said her ‘Daddy changed the world.’ Today, my thoughts are w/ the family of George Floyd as they’ve had to relive the hardest day of their lives over & over again. I'm grateful for their courage during this difficult time.

I’m thankful that in this case, the jury & public servants in MN did the right thing. It showed that a justice system can work if we value Black & Brown lives, if we elect DAs & attorneys general that pursue accountability, & if we demand institutional and systemic change.

A guilty verdict shouldn't be unusual or exceptional. But, in 2021, after the murder of Stephon Clark, Darell Richards, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Breonna Taylor & so many more, accountability is obvious in a system that has historically regarded Black lives as disposable.

I will continue our collective fight alongside advocates, organizers, and supporters that have stood up for police accountability and for a truly equitable justice system. There’s still a lot of work left to do.”

“After so much history in our country of police brutality against people of color, today is finally a day of reckoning.

The guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin speaks to what should be the truth in America that no one – especially law enforcement – is above the law.  I have hope that this verdict handed down by a jury of Americans leads to fundamental changes in our Country.

America must do more than promise a government that treats its people with fairness and respect, regardless of their race. It must deliver on that promise. This is only the beginning of change.  Let us heal together. Let us continue the fight to end racism in America.”

4:20 p.m.

Bobby Bivens of the Stockton chapter of the NAACP reacted to the Derek Chauvin verdict:

4:15 p.m.

California Assemblymember and Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, (D - District 47), issued the following statement regarding the Derek Chauvin verdicts:

“Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. The three guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin are steps on the road to accountability for our institutions and steps toward justice for thousands of families and communities. Let this day be the first of many where we vow to uphold American values; but as Dr. King once said, let us not rest until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

4 p.m.

Sacramento activist Berry Accius issued a video statement on his Instagram page. On the post he wrote, “No Time To Celebrate the Guilt Verdict #moretruththanyoucanhandle

Derrick Chauvin was found Guilty this isn't Justice but accountability...We can't stand idle and celebrate we must continue to challenge the system and brace for what's to happen next..... Like my brother @pauleasya said "One win in a sea of losses"

3:45 p.m.

Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela wrote, "Today our country can celebrate a small step toward justice While the jury found George Floyd’s murderer guilty, true justice would have been a living, breathing George Floyd. We have a long way to go toward real justice for all."

3:35 p.m.

The San Francisco 49ers issued a statement on the Chauvin verdict.

3:25 p.m.

First partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom issued a statement on Twitter, saying, "George Floyd should still be alive today. And while nothing will bring him back or heal the unthinkable pain his killing caused his family and Black Americans everywhere, today’s verdict offers a retribution on toxic masculinity and a ray of light in the fight for racial justice."

3:15 p.m.

3:10 p.m.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta, (D - District 18), wrote, "This verdict is a step toward justice and accountability, but George Floyd is gone forever. One decision will not bring systemic change to our justice system or root out racism in our institutions. This must be the beginning, not the end, of those efforts."

West Sacramento Mayor Martha Gurrero took to Twitter to release a statement on the jury's decision:

Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen issued the following statement regarding the verdict in the Chauvin trial:

“This guilty verdict has sent a strong message that nobody is above the law. For far too long, our communities of color have feared to even have a hope for justice via our judicial system.

Our collective work continues to build strong communities where its residents feel safe. We must all work together to eliminate systemic racism and racial injustice. We need to foster more conversations amongst ourselves to promote a greater level of understanding of each other's needs and realities. I will continue to work hard to be an ally for my community.

May the family of George Floyd find healing and comfort in the verdicts. Mr. Floyd’s life mattered.”

3:05 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama wrote about the verdict, saying, "Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied."

Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, (D - San Diego), released the following statement following the guilty verdict issued in the murder of George Floyd:

“Our country has been continually rocked and in mourning over the killing of Black community members. These tragedies—and now the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial regarding the killing of George Floyd—leave many of us continuing to look for both immediate and long-term solutions. Justice was served today, but it cannot be a one-time thing. Training, accountability, and decertification certainly are all good strategies, but the real change has to start with recognizing that systemic racism and our implicit biases account for the biggest piece of the problem. 

We, as a society—not just Black, Brown, Asian, or ethnically-diverse individuals—are beginning to confront the reality that systemic racism is the real root of the problem. We have to continue that change from within, accept the reality of what has been happening, and chart a course for change. If we don’t start with that—even as we work to implement laws, policies, guidelines, and measures to ensure progress—it either won’t have a lasting impact or won’t happen at all."

3 p.m.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) President Brian Marvel  issued the following statement on the Chauvin verdict:

“George Floyd was a man in distress and crying out for help, and his death should not have happened. This incident is an affirmation that we must hold officers accountable when their actions are found to be unlawful and inconsistent with training and best practices in the use of force to gain compliance.

“Today’s guilty verdict should be a wake-up call for the nation. It is time for America to adopt a national use of force standard, to mandate that all peace officers have a duty to intercede, to raise the bar for use of force training standards for all peace officers in every state across this country. We started this process in California by passing SB 230 and AB 392, and now we need to make these changes across the nation.

“As law enforcement officers across the nation are working to build trust within their communities, I am hopeful that today’s verdict will be another small step towards mending the divide.”

2:50 p.m.

California state senator and chair of the states' Black Caucus, Steven Bradford, said, "I’m overwhelmed to tears over this verdict: Guilty. George Floyd did not have to die that day. His family is still healing from this trauma. We must continue to fight for justice in this country, for all of us!"

University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., and UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez released the following statement regarding the Chauvin trial verdict:

"As the prosecution made abundantly clear, Derek Chauvin grossly and maliciously overstepped his duties as a police officer when he killed George Floyd. The jury confirmed what many of us who watched that horrible video know to be true: Floyd was murdered.

This verdict will not ameliorate the incredible pain and grief the Floyd family are experiencing, or the pain and suffering endured by so many more. It does, at least, reaffirm the principle that no one is above the law, especially not a peace officer trusted with protecting a community’s safety and security.

Although it cannot bring back Floyd, may today’s jury decision give his family and loved ones a measure of peace, and encourage our country to reimagine and work toward a safer and more equitable future for us all."

2:45 p.m.

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs issued his own statement on the jurors' decision: 

"The verdict was the correct one. Still, George Floyd’s murder was caused by systemic issues and will happen again without real structural changes. Black folks deserve justice and love while alive. White supremacy must end. Our work continues."

Executive Director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California Cristine Soto DeBerry released the following statement following the jury’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial: 

“Today, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial delivered a powerful blow in the fight to ensure that police officers who violate the law are held accountable for their actions. 

The murder of George Floyd was a direct consequence of an outdated ineffective policing approach that over-polices and over-criminalizes communities of color. 

While today’s verdict is an important step in the movement to end police violence, no verdict will ever repair the hole in the hearts of George Floyd's loved ones. We must continue to ensure the humanity of Black people is seen and valued, and prevent future tragedies from unfolding in our communities. 

The Prosecutors Alliance is proud to sponsor two bills aimed at ending police violence and providing justice to those impacted: SB 299, a bill to extend victims compensation to victims of police brutality, and SB 710, a bill to #CureTheConflict of interest that occurs when elected prosecutors accept financial and political support from law enforcement unions. 

The Prosecutors Alliance remains committed to fighting for a justice system that delivers equal access to justice for all.”

2:35 p.m.

California Sen. Alex Padilla issued the following statement on Twitter after the guilty verdict:

State assemblymember Kevin McCarty wrote, "Yes, justice was served and we have accountability for the murder of George Floyd. But our police reform work continues in CA, we’re pushing forward."

2:30 p.m.

ABC10 reporter Brea Love asked Stevante how his mother and grandmother would feel if they were here with him right now. Here’s what he had to say: 

Gov. Gavin Newsom weighed in on the decision on Twitter, saying "George Floyd would still be alive if he looked like me. That must change. 

No conviction can repair the harm done to the Floyd family, but today’s verdict provides accountability. 

Now, we must continue our work to root out the racial injustice that haunts our society."

2:25 p.m.

Sacramento City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby wrote, “Thinking about the family of Mr. Floyd and all the overwhelming emotions they must be feeling right now.

There is so much more work to be done. No doubt about that. But for this moment, these 3 verdicts are an important step towards accountability and justice.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves, who are in Sacramento to face the Kings tonight at the Golden 1 Center, also released a statement following the verdict:

2:20 p.m.

The California Democratic Party released the following statement on the verdict reached in the Derek Chauvin trial:

"It is incumbent upon all of us to fight against the deep-seated prejudice, discrimination, and structural racism that has long plagued our country.

Today’s ruling was a step towards a more just future. Yet, CADEM recognizes that there is still much more work to be done.

We have to do better. We must do better.

Now is the time to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. In memory of George Floyd: stand up, speak out, and take action.

For as long as Black people cannot breathe, we cannot and will not stop fighting to lift up Black voices." 

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, (D - Lakewood), today issued the following statement on the verdict reached in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with the death of George Floyd:

“I believe the jury here has done its duty. Legal justice, however, does not bring back George Floyd and justice in one case does not erase thousands of other wrongs. We must work to make sure that this step toward justice is followed by thousands, or millions, of steps in that direction.”

2:15 p.m.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg released a statement after the verdict was announced:

California assemblyman Jim Cooper, (D - District 9), also issued a statement on his verified Twitter page:

2:05 p.m.

ABC10 reporter Brea Love is in Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Sacramento where demonstrators have started to gather, including Stevante Clark, whose, Stephon,  was shot and killed by Sacramento police in his grandmother's backyard three years ago this month.

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