After 10 hours of deliberation, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd, a verdict Floyd’s family met with relief and calls for justice for Black Americans.
“The world has seen his life be extinguished, and I could do nothing but watch,” Philonise Floyd, one of George’s brothers, said during a news conference on Tuesday. “Especially in that courtroom, over and over and over again, as my brother was murdered.”
“We have to protest because it seems like this is a never-ending cycle,” he added. “I’m not just fighting for George anymore, I’m fighting for everybody around this world. Today we are able to breathe again.”
Terrence Floyd, another one of George’s brothers, said it was a monumental moment “to be a Floyd.”
“Every day of my life I will salute him because he showed me how to be strong, he showed me how to be respectful,” he said. “I’m gonna miss him, but now I know he’s in history.”
Rodney Floyd, another brother, said the verdict had “no colour barrier.”
“This is for everyone who’s been held down and pinned down,” he said. “We all stand together in unity.”
Philonise bowed his head in prayer before the verdict was read, saying later that he had been praying for justice.
“I was just praying they would find him guilty,” he told CBS Minnesota after the conviction. “As an African American, we usually never get justice.”
“Today, history was made,” Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney who represents the Floyd family, said in a video shortly after the verdict. “We are finally starting to ― as a country ― live up to the promise of equal justice under the law for all people.”
Crump said during the news conference that he hoped the case would become “a precedent where we live up to the high ideals and the promises when we say ‘liberty and justice for all.’”
“This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, justice over injustice,” the attorney said. “America, let’s lean into this moment, and let’s make sure that this moment will be documented for our children yet unborn as they continue on the journey toward justice. Knowing that the blood of George Floyd will give them a trail to a way towards a better America.”