HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Tuesday afternoon, a Minnesota jury reached a verdict in the trial against Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter following the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin was convicted on all charges and awaits sentencing.
Following the verdict, Pennsylvania leaders released statements regarding Chauvin’s conviction, including Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
“Today’s conviction is one step of accountability on a long road toward justice. The failures of our system haunt our country’s history, from Dred Scott to Rodney King to Trayvon Martin, but we can write a new chapter,” AG Shapiro said.
Senator Casey said finding Chauvin guilty on all charges is a step toward accountability, but it is not justice — sharing similar thoughts to the state attorney general.
“While Derek Chauvin will be held accountable for the murder of George Floyd, it’s not enough,” Casey said. “Countless others have died at hands of police because of a broken system that must be reformed.”
Governor Tom Wolf also responded to Chauvin’s conviction on Monday evening.
“We know that one verdict will not, by itself, change the course of our nation. But this verdict was made possible by the bravery and ceaseless advocacy of people who stood up and called for change, and it marks a turning point,” Wolf said.
Shapiro and Casey also expressed their condolences with George Floyd’s family during this time.
“My heart is with all Americans experiencing pain and trauma tonight, and with the Floyd family, who will spend their lives missing George Floyd — their dad, their brother, and their friend,” Shapiro said.
The verdict, arrived at after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days, was read late in the afternoon in a city on edge against the possibility of yet another eruption of the unrest that set off a chain reaction of protests last spring.
“The work of changing policing, of fighting for racial justice, of ending centuries of discriminatory and traumatic policymaking, is hard and painful. It is also, above all, necessary,” Wolf said.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris also shared remarks of the Chauvin verdict.
“Enough of these senseless killings,” President Biden said. “Nothing can ever bring [George Floyd] back … but this can be a giant step toward justice in America.”
President Joe Biden said earlier in the day Tuesday he was “praying the verdict is the right verdict” in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. He said he believed the case, which has gone to the jury and put the nation on edge, was “overwhelming.”