National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to Derek Chauvin’s conviction on second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter:

    MINNEAPOLIS (April 20, 2021) – “Just as the viral video of George Floyd’s brutal death marked a turning point in the nation’s tolerance for racially-motivated police violence, we are hopeful that today’s verdict marks a turning point in holding police accountable.

    “With this verdict, the jury has made an unambiguous declaration that unwarranted use of force against Black people by police is a crime, and that Black Lives Matter.

    “Criminal prosecutions of police officers for misconduct, even fatal misconduct, are extremely rare, and convictions are rarer still. A major reason why is the so-called blue wall of silence, which suffered a major blow in this case when Chauvin’s former fellow officers took the stand against him. While truthful testimony is the very least we should expect from law-enforcement officers, we are nonetheless encouraged by the role their actions played in securing this conviction.

    “We commend the prosecution team assembled by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who pursued justice with rigor and integrity.
    “We must build on the movement their actions and this conviction represent by enacting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and putting an end to this pattern and practice of abuse.

    “We profoundly appreciate that justice has been served by the jury’s decision, but today is not a day to celebrate. Rather, it is a time for somber remembrance of George Floyd and all those lives lost to unjustified police violence. It is a time to rededicate ourselves to building a community of trust that keeps all Americans safe.”

    Philonise Floyd, (center) sheds tears after conviction of brother’s murderer Derek Chauvin.