Local leaders react to Chauvin trial verdict


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS — Following the Minneapolis jury verdict reached in the Derek Chauvin trial regarding the death of George Floyd, several Louisiana leaders issued statements of support, unity and change.

NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, who issued a letter to the community asking residents to remain “calm and composed” no matter the outcome, was one of the first to issue a statement after jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Tuesday on all charges in the death of Floyd.

“The guilty verdict announced today in the trial of Derek Chauvin is justice delivered,” said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson. “This is an important day for our country because we can now begin the healing process and it is an important day for our profession because it shows that police officers are not above the law and will not be able to hide behind a badge from accountability for their actions.”  

Others, such as Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and 2nd District Congressional candidates, Sen. Karen Carter Peterson and Sen. Troy Carter, also released statements following the verdict.

Gov. John Bel Edwards:

“Today, I am thankful that the criminal justice system dispensed justice to George Floyd’s family and to society.

“While today’s verdict will not bring George Floyd back, nor will it erase years of damaging racism and violence, it is a positive step forward that Derek Chauvin was held fully accountable for Floyd’s death.

“All people, regardless of the color of their skin, deserve to be treated fairly, equally and with dignity by members of law enforcement. Officers should never resort to excessive force when they are dealing with the public. For that reason, we should all be encouraged that so many career law enforcement officials testified to the criminality of Chauvin’s actions.

“I join many Americans and Louisianans in grieving alongside the Floyd family, and I pray this verdict will give them some measure of peace. I also pray that all people in our state and our nation will stand together, learn from one another, reject violence, and embrace neighborly love.”

Sen. Karen Carter Peterson:

“I’m grateful for today’s verdict, but we should be clear – there is nothing that can give true justice to the family of George Floyd. It shouldn’t take nationwide protests to hold one police officer accountable in court. And it shouldn’t take an international movement to bring awareness to the police brutality that communities of color have faced off-camera for years.

“The current criminal justice and policing systems in place can’t protect Black lives because they weren’t created to. That’s why we have to transform them from the ground up. Today’s verdict is a start for the healing George Floyd’s family deserves, but real justice means reimagining criminal justice and policing in our country so no family has to endure this type of heartbreak ever again.”

Sen. Troy Carter:

“George Floyd was murdered. He was murdered by Derek Chauvin, someone who took an oath to protect and serve. Derek Chauvin violated the public trust of the community he served. And now he’s been found guilty on all charges.

“George Floyd was a father who called out for his mother before his death. The call to action young people in every city in America made this last year since George Floyd was murdered was a call for justice. This verdict does not give Gianna Floyd, her father back. So this verdict could never be just.

“Young people and activists have been calling for justice. I hear your call. I will stand with you. I will stand and fight for justice for victims, their families and our children who have to live in this world. My first act in Congress will be to cosponsor the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the Safe Justice Act, to keep our communities safe and prevent violent acts like these.”

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