Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday said the guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was a “necessary step” toward progress, but that it was “far from a sufficient one.”
A panel of jurors found Chauvin guilty on Tuesday on all three charges in connection with the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
Chauvin, 45, was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
After Hennepin County, Minnesota, Judge Peter Cahill read the jury’s verdict, Chauvin’s bail was immediately revoked and he was led away with hands cuffed behind his back.
The Obamas, in a statement Tuesday, said the jury “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?” They said. “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.”
The Obamas added that “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,” they said. “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
The former president and first lady said the verdict in the Chauvin trial “may have been a necessary step on the road to progress,” but said 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,” they said. “We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized.”
The Obamas said they send their 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,” they said.
Author: Brooke Singman