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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Ex-cop Chauvin found guilty of murder, manslaughter; LGBTQs react
2021-04-20

This article shared 980 times since Tue Apr 20, 2021
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On April 20, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter in his case involving George Floyd.

Floyd died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes while he pleaded, "I can't breathe."

The maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is imprisonment of not more than 40 years. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment of not more than 25 years. The maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or $20,000. The actual sentences may be much lower, though, because Chauvin has no prior convictions.

Chauvin's bail was revoked; he was handcuffed in the courtroom and taken into custody by the Hennepin County sheriff's office.

Pro-LGBTQ organizations and individuals reacted to the verdict.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement, "In May of 2020, I saw the harrowing footage of George Floyd's life being extinguished beneath Derek Chauvin's knee, and I cried. I said then and I say now, being Black in America cannot be a death sentence. I join my fellow Chicagoans, Americans, and human beings across the world as justice is being served in Minneapolis today. A jury of his peers listened to the evidence presented by both sides and came to the only reasonable verdict based on the overwhelming evidence presented by the prosecution.

"I want to commend the jury, the prosecution and the people of Minnesota for their invaluable work to hold Mr. Chauvin accountable for his crimes. George Floyd's death sparked a pivotal movement for Americans fighting to end systematic racism. Today marks a moment where future generations can look back and see that we as a nation came together and rightfully demanded justice and accountability. And justice was served. Let us pray that the Lord continues to watch over George Floyd's family and loved ones. Pray for peace as we continue on our journey towards a more just and equitable world."

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said in a separate statement: "No courtroom can ever replace a life, but it can and should deliver justice. Today, the jury in Derek Chauvin's murder trial honored that truth.

"My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd, who deserve to have him alive today. I'm also thinking of all our Black communities and other communities of color who see their children or their parents or themselves in George Floyd, and Daunte Wright, and Adam Toledo, and Breonna Taylor, and Laquan McDonald.
 "This verdict marks an important milestone on the journey to justice, but the fullest measure of progress is how we deliver accountability, safety and meaningful change.

Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons—the first Black gay man in this political position—said, "Justice is broad and systemic, and this verdict tells us that the system must change from the ground up. George Floyd was executed on camera in a matter of minutes. His daughter will never see him again. Derek Chauvin has had many months and more of due process, all while communities across the country anxiously awaited this decision, not at all confident that Chauvin would face consequences even in light of the fact that his crime was caught on film.

"That this was in doubt, that we feel relieved that there will be consequences, speaks to how much the system needs changing. Chauvin is one officer whose misconduct will be punished. This must cease to be the exception, or more Black lives will be routinely taken from us."

LGBTQ Victory Fund and LGBTQ Victory Institute issued a statement: "We are relieved that George Floyd's killer was convicted for his actions, but this is one trial for one murder. True justice would be George Floyd returning home to his family last May and an erasure of the trauma caused by his death.

"True justice is an end to police killings of Black and Brown people and a national commitment to end systemic racism and white supremacy. But this is a step toward justice, and history proves these steps cannot be taken for granted. George Floyd has ignited a movement that continues to inspire and has forced many to look at themselves, and their country, more critically. Today is a step—one of many needed—on the long road to true justice for Black Americans."

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said, "Today, humanity won over indifference. This verdict will not bring George Floyd back, but it does hold one officer accountable for the killing of one Black person. George Floyd's story has inspired a movement around the world for racial justice.

"While we welcome exercising police accountability as a crucial step towards dismantling abusive, discriminatory policing, we also know that there is more work to be done to protect all Black lives. We should take a solemn moment to grieve with the Floyd family, as we pursue the systemic change necessary to end police killings of Black people and to remove the structures that support white supremacy from our society once and for all."

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis stated, "The verdicts convicting Derek Chauvin deliver some accountability for his actions. They now must lead us toward greater safety and trust, especially for Black people, queer people of color and transgender people and youth who are disproportionately at risk of harassment, discrimination and violence, including violence by police. The deaths of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Adam Toledo and far too many others must motivate urgent change to address racial bias and prevent deadly force."


This article shared 980 times since Tue Apr 20, 2021
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