Earlier this afternoon at a courthouse in Minneapolis, the three-week trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd finally reached its conclusion, with the jury convicting Chauvin on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. While the verdict does not resolve the history of systemic racism and police brutality that the killing highlighted—with the global attention and groundswell of support behind Floyd and his family—the moment marked a step forward in holding the perpetrators of police brutality to account. As the first time in Minnesota history that a white officer has been convicted for the killing of a Black citizen, it will hopefully serve as a pivotal moment for marginalized communities seeking justice in the face of these historic abuses of power.
As well as sharing their hopes for how this verdict may help advance the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racism initiatives more broadly, many also took the opportunity to send their condolences to Floyd’s family, for whom this verdict comes as a necessary step forward following his death almost a year ago. It serves as an important reminder to honor Floyd not just for the pivotal role he played as a figure in the Black Lives Matter movement over the past year, but also as a talented basketball player, a lover of hip-hop, a beloved member of his community, and perhaps most importantly, a doting father to five children and a loving partner to his girlfriend Courtney Ross. As many around the world were quick to note, this is just the beginning.
Here, find the responses from political leaders, public figures, and activists around the world after today’s historic verdict was reached.