Area reaction to Derek Chauvin conviction in death of George Floyd

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MID-HUDSON – Former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges in the death of George Floyd in Minnesota one year ago.

Chauvin was convicted by a jury of second and third degree murder and one count of manslaughter.

Beacon City Mayor Lee Kyriacou commented on the verdict:

“Yesterday’s verdict holds accountable a former police officer for the killing of George Floyd, a horrifying act recorded and seen across the globe.  I hope the verdict will provide at least some comfort to Mr. Floyd’s family and friends. On a broader level, this verdict provides a measure of justice and is a milestone in promoting healing and change across our nation.

I continue to believe fervently in Martin Luther King’s words, that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ Mr. Floyd’s death has been and will continue to be a catalyst for change in policing, and more broadly for change on how our country lives up to its ideals, to ensure true justice and equality for all, regardless of race, color, creed, ability, or who you love.”

Congressman Mondaire Jones (D, NY-17) said the verdict has ensured that Chauvin is held accountable “for his heinous, unconscionable crime. But let me be clear, this verdict is not full justice, for in a just world, George Floyd would still be alive. In a just world, we would not be faced with a near-daily onslaught of officers assaulting, harassing, and murdering Black people simply for existing.”

Mondaire said it is time that the nation address “the violence of systemic racism in America in its totality. Police brutality in America is just the latest chapter in the legacy of racial violence that dates back to chattel slavery, lynch mobs, and Jim Crow – a legacy that has robbed us of countless Black lives, and that must be eradicated once and for all.”

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18) stated:

“Today, America watched as Derek Chauvin was held accountable for the murder of George Floyd. This ruling is a critical first step towards justice. We have an opening to fix this broken system, and we must stay the course. Now is the time for meaningful legal reforms that will deliver transformational change and enduring justice for Black Americans. We must begin by making the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act the law of the land.

“Democracy cannot exist where there is racism. Where there is racism, there is violence. There is no peace. There is always exclusion, and there is always pain. In the words of Amanda Gorman, we are not broken; we are just unfinished. We can heal this wounded world, and we can make it a wondrous one, but only if we do it together.”

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D, Yonkers) issued a statement. “While I’m heartened by this verdict and believe it’s an important step towards accountability, we must remember that this verdict is not true justice. True justice would mean that George Floyd would have walked away from that encounter alive. It would mean that he would be able to watch his daughter grow up. If we had true justice in this country, the kind that lives up to our ideals, countless other Black men and women wouldn’t see the same fate as George Floyd. While we cannot change the past, we can change what happens next. We can decide that we can no longer tolerate a policing system and a justice system that only serves some and not all. We can commit to real reform, to real justice, and to a better system of policing that truly keeps our communities safe instead of tearing them apart.”

Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison commented: “The killing of George Floyd was an abomination, and I am thankful a jury has saw fit to convict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of this heinous crime. Police officers have a sworn duty to uphold the law and protect the public, and Chauvin’s appalling and deadly actions betrayed that trust. I hope and pray our nation can begin healing after this difficult, emotional time.

“This inhumane treatment cannot and will not go unpunished.

“As mayor of this city and as a retired police officer and father of a police officer, I find Chauvin’s actions repulsive and want the community to know our city Police Department works in earnest each day to keep strong ties and an open dialogue with the community. This city has repeatedly shown it can overcome adversity and find a way to work together regardless of what might be happening throughout the nation or the world, and for that I will always be grateful.”

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson responded to the verdict:

“George Floyd should be alive today, but we hope that his loved ones can finally feel some kind of peace.

“Every day, police across the country repeat the same kind of violence with impunity. Countless people, with names that we will never hear, will never know justice.

“Our shared fight for justice must continue. We must root out systemic racism and injustice from all of our institutions. We must invest in our communities, not the militarization of law enforcement. And we must demand action from our elected officials so that justice is not just something we talk about after Black and brown people are murdered.”

“Our entire organization is sending solidarity and strength to everyone in Minneapolis, and across the country, who are struggling for the same.”