Gov. Pritzker’s Statement on the Conviction of Derek Chauvin

CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

“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.

“My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd, who deserve to have him alive today. I’m also thinking of all our Black communities and other communities of color who see their children or their parents or themselves in George Floyd, and Daunte Wright, and Adam Toledo, and Breonna Taylor, and Laquan McDonald.

“This verdict marks an important milestone on the journey to justice, but the fullest measure of progress is how we deliver accountability, safety and meaningful change.

“In Illinois, we are addressing law enforcement reform, criminal justice reform, economic opportunity, educational equity and health care.

“We can and must make progress every day until we have a state and a nation and a justice system that truly serve everyone. And as long as there’s more work to be done, that’s what we’ll do.”

Durbin Statement On Derek Chauvin Being Found Guilty Of All Charges

Announces Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearing on police reform in May

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd:

“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.

“The verdict of this jury gives me hope that we can strive for a system of justice in our nation that is applied equally to all.

“As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have the forum and the means to help move our nation nearer to that goal. To that end, the Committee will hold a hearing next month on police reform.

“I know today’s ruling provides only a small measure of comfort to the Floyd family. His loss will be forever felt. We will honor George Floyd’s memory by continuing the fight for racial justice.”

Duckworth Statement in Response to Guilty Verdict in Chauvin Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today issued the following statement after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all counts in the death of George Floyd:

“Last year, the world watched in horror as Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as he cried ‘I can’t breathe’ and called out for his mother while the life drained from his body. George Floyd was murdered at the hands of a police officer who betrayed his oath to protect and serve.

“While today’s ruling won’t bring George Floyd back, it brings his family—and the entire community—closer to some semblance of justice, sends a message that our nation cannot ignore police violence and reminds us all that accountability is still possible.

“Though today’s verdict is a just result, it is only a beginning. Our work is not complete. In order to make justice the norm rather than the exception and truly bring us closer to achieving equal protection under the law for everyone, Congress must pass the comprehensive George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and begin to rebuild trust between law enforcement and our communities.”

Attorney General Raoul Issues Statement On Derek Chauvin Verdict

CHICAGO Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement in response to the verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. A jury convicted Chauvin today in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.

“Today justice was served, and I hope this verdict brings some measure of peace to the family and friends of George Floyd, and allows them to begin recovering not just from Floyd’s tragic death but also from the trauma of the trial. I am also hopeful that this verdict will begin the healing our country needs.

“I would like to congratulate my colleague, Keith Ellison, on a well-conducted prosecution. It should be noted that the successful prosecution was obtained with testimony of fellow officers within the Minneapolis Police Department who refused to sign off on an illegal and unconscionable use of force. Let that be a new standard.

“While George Floyd was not the first unarmed Black man to die at the hands of police, his death galvanized Americans in a historic way. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of people to remain at home with little else to distract from the horror of the video depicting George Floyd’s cries for his mother as he struggled to breathe. As a result, streets throughout the country filled with people demanding change to the status quo.

“Today’s verdict must not mark an end to a struggle toward eliminating the systemic problems that have tolerated police misconduct. It would be a mistake to take the ‘bad-apple’ approach to evaluating the impact of this case. I, for my part, am committed to utilizing the tools and resources of my office toward confronting the systemic problems that have tolerated unconstitutional policing in departments throughout the country. I will also continue to partner with community leaders, advocates and law enforcement agencies to enact policies that facilitate preventing future tragedies.

Rep. Kelly Releases Statement on Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) today released the following statement regarding the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial:

“Today’s verdict is a step toward justice for the family of George Floyd and a critical moment in our nation’s quest for the just treatment of Black people. I hope that this decision will bring his family a sense of peace and serve as a signal to our country and the world that we will not stand for police brutality.

However, we cannot let this decision be the end of our fight for justice and police reform. Mr. Floyd should not have had to die for our nation to reckon with police brutality. His murder has once again pulled back the curtain on the unfair treatment Black people often face at the hands of law enforcement. People of color across the country fear police brutality every single day, and one conviction is not going to change that.

We must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and additional bold police reforms. We cannot lose one single person more to police violence. I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure that everyone in our country will be protected from police brutality.

Ultimately, George Floyd’s legacy will be one of hope, of change and progress. Black Lives Matter.”

Turner Reacts to Chauvin Verdict

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Doris Turner’s (D-Springfield) released the following statement following the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin:

“For days the words of the prosecution “He didn’t let up; he didn’t get up.” have played through my head and brought tears to my eyes.

And, while I am pleased at the decision made by the jury, we still have a long way to go in ensuring our system of justice is fair and equitable for everyone.

The killing of George Floyd caused much unrest across the nation as many of us witnessed the horror of George Floyd's final moments.

I hope this verdict brings a sense of peace to Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community.

I also hope we continue the dialogue on how to better develop police-community relations across not only our state but entire country.

Let us use this moment to work together to get to a place of true equity and justice for not just a privileged few but for everyone.”

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones Responds to Guilty Verdicts for the Murder of George Floyd

Mayor Tishaura O. Jones extends her condolences to the family of George Floyd for their loss, and hopes they and the people of Minneapolis find solace in the guilty verdict of police officer Derek Chauvin.

“Today, justice has been served in George Floyd’s murder. I am relieved to see that we are finally seeing the consequences for when our officers, who are sworn to protect and serve the people, violate the trust of those people. We will not become complacent, though, as we have plenty of work to do to continue transforming the Department of Public Safety to rebuild the relationship with our communities.”

Mayor Jones is committed to putting the public back in public safety, a common phrase heard throughout her campaign. Her early-announced appointments to the Department of Public Safety demonstrates her urgent commitment to ensuring the people of St. Louis feel safe in their own homes and to begin the healing process between our communities and police officers.

Mayor Jones welcomes those who wish to practice their First Amendment rights nonviolently outside of City Hall.

The Illinois Education Association Releases Statement

on Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict

SPRINGFIELD – Today the Illinois Education Association (IEA) released the following statement regarding the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict.

The following is attributable to IEA President Kathi Griffin:

“Everyone wants to be safe in their community – no matter where they live, no matter the color of their skin. The jury’s verdict today helps remind us that no one should be above the law, even if they are the law. Derek Chauvin was hired to serve and protect his community. Instead, he took the life of George Floyd over the alleged passing of a fake $20 bill, in broad daylight, on a Minneapolis street, ignoring onlookers who were warning Chauvin he was killing Floyd.

As Chauvin’s co-workers and supervisors testified at the trial, he violated the department’s Use of Force policies. Their testimony indicated they believed Chauvin’s actions showed he lacked a moral compass.

There has been a long list of crimes committed against Black and Brown people by police over the years. Now, more are being caught on camera. As a result, justice is more likely to be served.

The Illinois Education Association, wherein part of our mission is “to effect excellence and equity in public education” is asking people to ask their Senators to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which calls for common sense police reforms, including:

  • Requiring the use of dashboard and body cameras;
  • Mandatory de-escalation training;
  • The end of racial and religious profiling;
  • The end of no-knock warrants;
  • And, the prohibition of potentially fatal measures that block blood flow to the brain (like that which killed George Floyd).

It is our responsibility to look out for the safety of our students -- all our students. And, we believe changes such as these will help.”

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The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest union. IEA represents Pre K-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

Brennan Center Statement on Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following comment:

“Today’s verdict offers some justice in the murder of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin is a murderer, and deserves the full punishment of the law. Our system has held him accountable.

“When those who are agents of the law are themselves the lawbreakers, such verdicts are rare, which is why this verdict is not the end of the fight for justice.

“George Floyd’s murder set off a long overdue confrontation with systemic racism in America, in our criminal justice system and throughout our society. There is work we as a country need to do to hold law enforcement officers in every part of the United States accountable for their actions.

“That is a job for policymakers, and we must hold them accountable and ensure fundamental legislative change occurs. Congress must act to strengthen and improve the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act — listening to the voices of those who cast ballots for a transformation of policing this past November and making police across this nation more accountable.

“More importantly, it is a job for officeholders at the state and local level. We must reimagine policing so it earns the trust of the communities it serves, while protecting all Americans from violence.

“George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Daunte Wright, Eric Garner and too many others have been brutalized by a criminal justice system that is stacked against Black Americans. We must say their names. We must say Black Lives Matter. We must commit to building a society free from state-sanctioned racism and violence.

“The Brennan Center stands with those who will continue to fight for racial justice. We will not turn back from the challenging and necessary work to achieve real change.”

This statement is available online here.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary, defend – our country's systems of democracy and justice.

Speaker Welch's Statement Regarding Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict

"Today, after 11 months, we have finally received a verdict that suggests we may have some common sense of justice. While it's important to have faith in the future of our own humanity, it should not have taken George Floyd losing his life, Gianna Floyd losing her father, for our hearts and minds to change. Nonetheless, we are here, and Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder by a jury of his peers. There's nothing to celebrate, though, as a system that allows this to happen still prevails. This year our legislature passed historic police reform, and we will continue to build on that. Simply put, our work here continues and we're going to make sure our policies in Illinois value Black lives."

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