“George Floyd mattered. He was loved by his family and friends.” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said at a press conference after the verdict was read in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
“I wouldn’t call this justice, though,” he said. “It is accountability. And accountability is the first step towards justice.”
Ellison thanked the community for their patience as his office gathered the evidence, brought forth the charges against Chauvin
The people who stopped and recorded the events of George Floyd’s death were a “bouquet of humanity” Ellison said, quoting prosecutor Jerry Blackwell who tried the case.
Ellison said, “although the verdict has been read, this is not the end.” “This verdict reminds us how hard it is to make enduring change,” he added. Ellison quoted Dr. Kenneth Clark, famed African American psychologist, who testified in 1968 about the cause for uprisings in Black communities around the US. He read the names of victims of police violence as a reminder that the work towards justice is not over.
“This has to end,” Ellison said. “We need true justice, that is social transformation,”
“That’s not one case,” he added. “We must make enduring” social change.” He called for reform in police departments, applauding the efforts of Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo, who he said has worked to put in place efforts to enforce police accountability.
“We have to end this recurring travesty of people dying at the hands of law enforcement,” Ellison continued, adding that one of the tasks at hand is to “transform the relationship between community and those who are sworn to protect them.”
“This will protect everyone including police officers.”
“The work of our generation is to put an end to the vestiges of Jim Crow… and racism.” We can end it, he said.
“Let’s get the work done,” Ellison said, ending his remarks.
Members of the trial attorneys also spoke, thanking Ellison for the opportunity to serve on the prosecutorial team.
Blackwell thanked the legal team behind the prosecution who helped organize the dozens of witnesses, and put in countless hours of work to get the jury to reach their decision.
“No verdict can bring George Perry Floyd back to us. But this verdict can send a message to his family that his life mattered,” Blackwell said.
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