Derek Chauvin’s sentencing likely to take place in two months

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The former police officer convicted on all three counts in of the murder of George Floyd faces a two-month wait until his sentencing as reaction poured in from across the national spectrum.

A 12-person jury deliberated for just 10 hours before returning guilty verdicts on unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second degree manslaughter – a decision hailed from the Floyd family to the White House, as the narrative quickly shifted from the deliberations in court to the broader pursuit of social justice and police reforms.

The verdict – watched around the globe – was greeted with measured praise given how rarely the criminal justice system convicts police officers in instances of overreach.

“Man, I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity for hopefully getting some sleep. A lot of days I prayed and I hoped and I was speaking everything into existence. I said I have faith that he will be convicted. We have to protest because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle. Yeah, Reverend Al always told me we got to keep fighting. Right. I’m a put up a fight every day because I’m not just fighting for George anymore. I’m fighting for everybody around this world,” said George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd.

Floyd’s horrific murder, caught on camera, shook the conscience of a nation and the world. But while accountability has been achieved, it is only seen as a first step towards justice as questionable police killings of Black and Brown men and boys continues – in Chicago most recently, the shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, the Brooklyn Centre killing of Daunte Wright where the police officer allegedly mistook her gun for a Taser and the shooting of South African Lindani Myeni in Hawaii just last week.

But the work of reforming the system, still in its infancy.

“Today we feel a sigh of relief. Still, it cannot take away the pain. A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer. And the fact is we still have work to do. We still must reform the system,” said US Vice President, Kamala Harris.

Reaction to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict:

President Joe Biden acknowledged that systemic racism was a stain on the nation’s soul and a knee on the neck of justice for black Americans.

“No one should be above the law. And today’s verdict sends that message, but it’s not enough. We can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen and occur again. To ensure the Black and Brown people or anyone, so they don’t fear the interactions with law enforcement, that they don’t have to wake up knowing that they can lose their very life in the course of just living their life,” Biden says.

Similar sentiments among those camped outside the Courthouse, given what many of them feel, is a history of injustice in police-involved killings.

“I’m proud that he got convicted of all charges, but I want to look at this picture: We did not get justice for what led to George Floyd, to his state. He was a guy who used drugs occasionally. He used a fake $20 dollar. And that’s not a reason for a man to die. But we have to build a system which provides for each one of us, no matter what skin colour, or working class, what class you come from or what skin colour we have,” said one Florida resident.

“Now we’re looking to justice for Breonna Taylor, we’re looking to justice for Daunte Wright, we’re looking to justice for Tamir Rice, because Black people do deserve justice. And this is a message to every little Black child coming up that your life matters. And if your life is taken at the hands of the state there will be consequences. And I hope every killer cop is watching and paying attention, because today the Black Lives Matter movement served notice on you,” adds New York resident, Kimberley Bernard.

Former President Barack Obama tweeted that while the jury did the right thing, true justice required much more.