State and local lawmakers in Virginia are reacting to former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty in the murder of George Floyd.
While the incident happened in Minnesota, a video of Chauvin pinning Floyd to the pavement with his knee on Floyd’s neck sparked protests and calls for change across the United States.
Governor Ralph Northam
“The life of George Floyd matters. He should still be alive today, and no courtroom decision can bring him back. But this decision is an important step. It is a step towards accountability for police. It is a step towards justice—for George Floyd, for his family, for his community, and for our entire country.
“I pray that today brings some small comfort to the family of George Floyd and all who loved him. May we honor his legacy by continuing on this march towards justice and meaningful change. We have a lot of work ahead.”
Attorney General Mark Herring
“George Floyd should still be alive, and while no verdict will bring him back to his family, these verdicts provide a measure of justice and accountability for a heartless and senseless murder,” said Attorney General Herring. “The world watched as Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck – ending his life as he called out for his mother. This guilty verdict will hopefully be an inflection point that forces us all to recommit to building a society in which Black lives matter and all Americans can live without fearing the police or discrimination.
“To the hardworking prosecutors and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who were dedicated to getting this justice for George Floyd and his family – thank you for standing up and fighting for what is right.
“For too long, our country has had two different systems of justice – one for white Americans and one for Black Americans and Americans of color. And while today’s verdict shows that sometimes the system can work, too often Black and brown Americans are killed at the hands of police officers. We cannot continue in this way.
“We must truly commit ourselves to making our criminal justice system fair, equal, and just for every single person living in this country – not based on what you look like, what your job is, how much money you have, or where you live.”
U.S. Senator Mark Warner
“George Floyd’s life mattered. Justice has been served. Nothing will bring him back. But we owe it to Mr. Floyd, his family, and far too many others like him to take meaningful action to reform our policing system. We can start by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine
“Today, justice is delivered for George Floyd and his family. But one correct verdict does not negate the profound injustice that persists every day. In the memory of George Floyd and all others who have needlessly died, we must continue the push for reforms that will eliminate the too frequent spectacle of Black lives treated as disposable by law enforcement.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney
“This verdict makes it clear to everyone in America that Black lives matter.
“We all bear a responsibility to change and hold accountable the unjust systems that have harmed Black Americans. I stand with all Richmonders in our commitment to do the hard work ahead and realize a better day in our city, commonwealth and country.”
However you decide to express your feelings as a result of this decision, I ask that you please do so peacefully, safely and with respect for your neighbors and all who call this city home.”
U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger
“The murder of George Floyd captured — on video — the cycle of brutal violence that still exists on American streets and throughout American communities. Today’s verdict is a step towards achieving justice for the family of George Floyd, and it brings greater attention and human dignity to the lives of those who have been senselessly killed at the hands of law enforcement.
“However, we must expect more from ourselves, our neighbors, our community leaders, and our legislators in the struggle against systemic racism. The footage of Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd — who was begging for his life — painfully demonstrated the long, necessary work that has yet to occur if we truly wish to achieve equal justice and bring long overdue reforms to police departments across the country. The videos of police shootings made public last week have only underscored the urgency of these changes.
“In the wake of today’s verdict, we should all be committed to carrying out that work — for the sake of our communities and for the strength of our nation. My thoughts are with the family of George Floyd in this moment, as well as with the thousands of American families who have yet to achieve justice on behalf of their loved ones.”