A “turning point in history”, a name that has become “synonymous with justice”, a relief: reactions rained down on Tuesday in the United States, and around the world, after the verdict which found the American policeman Derek Chauvin guilty of the death of African-American George Floyd.
A “significant change” wanted by Joe Biden
In a solemn speech, Joe Biden called on America to fight the racism that “stains” its soul. “The time has come for this country to come together,” added the US president. “The guilty verdict will not bring George back” but this decision may be the time for “significant change.”
Beside him, Kamala Harris, declared his “relief”. “This does not take away the pain, however,” continued the first black vice president in United States history. “Black Americans, especially black men, have been treated across this country as if they are not men,” said the former senator. “We still have to reform the system.”
Shortly after the verdict, the two had called the Floyd family by phone. “We are all so relieved,” the president told them. “I would have liked to be there to hug you.” “History will remember that moment,” Kamala Harris had promised them.
A fight to continue
“Guilty! Justice obtained in pain was finally granted to the family of George Floyd ”, reacted the lawyer of the latter, Ben Crump. “This verdict is a turning point in history.”
GUILTY! Painfully won justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. This verdict marks a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need to be accountable to law enforcement. Justice for black America is justice for all of America!
– Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) April 20, 2021
“Today a jury in Minneapolis did the right thing,” Barack Obama wrote. “But if we are honest, we know that real justice goes much further than a single verdict in a single trial,” added the first black president of the United States, calling for “the fight” to continue to fight against racism and police violence.
Today a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we support all those who are committed to ensuring every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV
– Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
“Skin color still determines all too often how someone is treated in almost all areas of American life,” said Bill Clinton. “If the verdict does not bring us back George Floyd, it can help us prevent more senseless deaths and bring us closer to the day when we will all be treated the same,” added the former Democratic President.
Message sent, says prosecutor Jerry Blackwell
“We needed a victory in this case, it was very important and we got it,” Rodney Floyd told AFP. “Maybe we’ll breathe a little easier now,” he continued, echoing his brother, George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe”.
“No verdict can bring George Perry Floyd back to us. But this verdict sends the message to his family that he was somebody, that his life mattered, that each of our lives matters, ”said African-American prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, member of the prosecution team. at the trial of Derek Chauvin.
“Thanks to you, and thanks to the thousands, millions of people who have demonstrated around the world for justice, your name will forever be synonymous with justice,” said Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in front of the Capitol shortly after the verdict.
“I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and I welcome this verdict,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted. “My thoughts tonight are with the family of George Floyd and his friends.”
I was appalled at the death of George Floyd and I welcome this verdict.
My thoughts tonight are with the family and friends of George Floyd.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 20, 2021
Cries of Joy in Minneapolis Court
“Guilty!”: As soon as the verdict is announced on the megaphone, the crowd exults in front of the court in Minneapolis. More than 200 people gathered in anticipation of the news, and immediately tears began to fall on more than one face. “Today we celebrate justice (rendered) for our city”, continues the man with his megaphone
A woman, tears streaming down her cheeks, expresses her relief: “Now we can finally start to breathe,” says Amber Young. “This year has been such a trauma. From now on I hope that we can heal our wounds, ”she adds. This African-American woman now turns to another struggle: “We have to fight for Daunte Wright now”, referring to the.
The avenue in front of the court has been cut off to traffic, and several cars that are being diverted from their path honk their horns to celebrate with the crowd. The celebrations, however, quickly moved south of the city, to the very spot of George Floyd’s death. On this street corner, more than a thousand people gathered to celebrate the verdict. Again fists raised, they sang the name of George Floyd.
Sometimes coming as a family, with young children and babies in strollers, or even with their dog on a leash, they also danced to the rhythm of a fanfare that came to play hard-hitting rhythms.
For Hannan Aboubaker, a 28-year-old woman, the conviction must now be a sign of change. The police “must behave towards us with dignity and respect, and not with prejudices and biases, they must treat us the same way they would treat a white person”, she argues.
“Justice is done” for the NBA
In a joint statement with Michele Roberts, director of the Basketball Players’ Association, NBA boss Adam Silver pledged his organization would continue its campaign for justice and police reforms in the United States.
“The murder of George Floyd was a breaking point in the way we view race and justice issues in our country, and we are happy to see that justice appears to have been served,” the two said. .
NBA players joined protests that erupted across the country after the death of George Floyd, an African-American who died of suffocation under the knee of white policeman Dereck Chauvin, convicted of murder on Tuesday.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx players also welcomed the verdict in a joint statement.