Illinois and Chicago leaders are weighing in after a Minnesota jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin held a knee to his neck for more than nine minutes while he was handcuffed and restrained. The killing sparked mass protests nationwide and in Chicago over the summer, and city officials have prepared for a similar reaction in the lead up to Tuesday’s verdict.
Here’s the local reaction to the court’s decision.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
In May of 2020, I saw the harrowing footage of George Floyd’s life being extinguished beneath Derek Chauvin’s knee, and I cried. I said then and I say now, being Black in America cannot be a death sentence.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) April 20, 2021
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker
No courtroom can ever replace a life, but it can and should deliver justice. Today, the jury in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial honored that truth.— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) April 20, 2021
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/9Xc73hOG1N
Black Lives Matter Chicago
Know that this is a result of the millions who have taken the streets in all 50 states and many countries throughout the world. The state will concede, when the threat of rebellion and unrest, and revolution outweigh the consequences of upholding the status quo.— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) April 20, 2021
Former President Barack Obama
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
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth
George Floyd was murdered at the hands of Derek Chauvin who betrayed his oath to protect and serve.— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) April 20, 2021
While this verdict won’t bring George Floyd back, it brings his family and our nation closer to some semblance of justice and reminds us all that accountability is still possible.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
The image of Derek Chauvin staring straight into the camera as George Floyd died under his knee haunts me to this day. The injustice of his killing is undeniable. And so is the fact that systemic racism continues to plague America.— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) April 20, 2021
The Rev. Jesse Jackson
An emotional and historical moment. We never lost a battle we fought & we never won a battle unless we fought. Keep Hope Alive. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #TearsShed #EqualJusticeUnderTheLaw #GeorgeFloyd #VerdictHeard pic.twitter.com/L9GjN2bOtY— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) April 20, 2021
Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch
Today, after 11 months, we have finally received a verdict that suggests we may have some common sense of justice.— Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (@RepChrisWelch) April 20, 2021
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly
Today’s trial for the murder of George Floyd resulted in a jury verdict of guilty on all three murder charges. The conviction is a small step toward accountability.— Dr. Robin Kelly (@RobinLynneKelly) April 20, 2021
Our quest for justice will not cease. The next step is to pass into law the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. pic.twitter.com/NORptKc8Nx
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush
Today’s verdict — guilty on all three counts — is an important first acknowledgment of illegal police conduct. It holds one unlawful policeman accountable for murder. However, police accountability is not synonymous with justice.— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) April 20, 2021
U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García
My heart goes out to George Floyd’s family and a nation in mourning.— Jesús “Chuy” García (@ChuyForCongress) April 20, 2021
It took a 9 minute & 29 second video of a man being murdered,
And 1 year of millions taking to the streets,
To reach BASIC accountability.
This is NOT justice for George Floyd, his family or our country!
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley
Justice have been served today for George Floyd.— Mike Quigley (@RepMikeQuigley) April 20, 2021
While this decision cannot bring him back, I hope this gives his family some peace. #BlackLivesMatter
U.S. Rep. Marie Newman
For 9 minutes, Chauvin pressed his knee on George Floyd’s neck.— Congresswoman Marie Newman (@RepMarieNewman) April 20, 2021
During that time, George Floyd told Chauvin 27 times that he couldn’t breathe.
Even after he stopped breathing, Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Grateful this jury recognized that for what it is: murder.
U.S. Rep. Dan Schneider
Today, a glimpse of hope and justice for George Floyd and his family.— Rep. Brad Schneider (@RepSchneider) April 20, 2021
A glimpse of hope for all who feel unsafe in our communities. A glimpse of hope for all who know that for so long the system has denied them justice.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
I am relieved that justice has been done in this case.— Jan Schakowsky (@janschakowsky) April 20, 2021
But our work continues.
We will keep pushing forward in the name of George Floyd, Adam Toledo, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, Trayvon Martin and our other Black & brown community members killed by police.
Illinois Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie
State Rep. Kam Buckner
Today’s verdict is a glimmer of hope that we are finally realizing that the lives of black folks in this country are not expendable. But, I’d like to remind all of us that Justice is not merely something that happens. True justice is something that exists perpetually.— Rep. Kam Buckner (@RepKamBuckner) April 20, 2021
This is a developing story.