Chauvin Trial

Local Leaders, Police React to Derek Chauvin's Guilty Verdict

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Local leaders and some police departments in Connecticut are reacting on Tuesday after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy tweeted a statement after the verdict saying in part, "Justice has been served."

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal echoed what Murphy said saying in part, "True justice would be George Floyd alive today, but this guilty verdict provides emphatic, necessary accountability.”

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro Tweeted a statement saying in part that "no ruling from a jury can bring back George Floyd, but I hope that a weight has been lifted for his family."

"This verdict cannot be the end of this story. Since testimony in Derek Chauvin’s trial began on March 29, an average of more than three people a day have died at the hands of law enforcement in the United States, with Black and Latino people representing more than half of them. Our nation faces systematic and structural racial inequity, and we must make change," DeLauro added in part in her statement.

Congressman John Larson said today's unanimous decision provides hope, but now Congress needs to take action.

“The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act now must become law. The verdict returned by the jury was unanimous, as is the concern of the American people that Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and many other Black Americans who have been wrongly murdered deserve justice. Only nine days ago, Duante Wright, was also wrongfully killed. Today’s unanimous decision provides hope, but Congress needs to take action. We need to enact the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act," Larson said.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin also released a statement saying, “George Floyd should be alive today, and while nothing can undo the grave injustice of his murder, I join our community and millions of Americans in hoping that today’s decision brings his family and friends some solace, knowing that Derek Chauvin will be held accountable for his crime."

“Those of us in elected office must continue to stay committed to the work of strengthening relationships of trust and accountability between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and that work is as urgent and important as ever," Bronin added.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said today's news means that we have one slight semblance of justice within this journey for equality in America.

"On May 25th of last year, the nation could not breathe. The knee of Derek Chauvin suffocated George Floyd with the weight of hundreds of years of racism and hatred. A weight manifested that further embodied white supremacy and exemplified the issues that are still unresolved from a half-century ago during the Civil Rights Movement. Let’s face it: the country is divided, and these incidents have been happening all along. It is just now that we are documenting them with our cell phones, calling them out in our everyday lives, and standing up for equality in America, and fighting back against hate," Elicker said in part.

"And today’s news means that we have one slight semblance of justice within this journey for equality in America. I commend the jury for their commitment during these many days of revisiting a painful moment in recent history. We all remember where we were when George Floyd was murdered, and we all will remember when Derek Chauvin was brought to justice. Savor this moment, ready yourself, because we still must keep fighting.  Still, some law enforcement members perpetrate these very violent acts against Latinx, Brown, and Black individuals. Adam Toledo, Duante Wright, Breonna Taylor… Say their names," Elicker added in part.

Stamford Mayor David Martin released a statement saying:

“Many have wondered if there can be true justice in America for African American men. The conviction of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd shows that it is possible.  While we still have a long way to go, this case should reassure us that our country is moving in the right direction. We must continue to strive for that day when everyone is treated with respect and there is equal opportunity and justice for all.”

Stonington Police Department also posted on Facebook after the verdict saying in part, "Police officers swear an oath to protect and serve their communities. It was very clear that in this case, Derek Chauvin did not protect, he did not serve. The criminal justice system has confirmed that his actions were not policing, but criminal.

Floyd, 46, died May 25 after being arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd despite repeated pleas from Floyd that he couldn’t breathe.

Three other former Minneapolis officers charged with aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death will stand trial in August.

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