Leaders support Chauvin convictions, promise more reforms
Elected officials and community leaders quickly reacted to the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death George Floyd on Tuesday, April. 20. They ranged from joy to relief to regret that more has not already been done to overcome systemic racism.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown: "Today's verdict is one step toward that goal. But it is only a single step toward police accountability. It is also a reminder of how much work we have left to do. We will dismantle the structures of racism and inequality in this country just as they were built, brick by brick."
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler: "That we live in a world where this can be the outcome gives me hope about the future and our ability to make the reforms we need in Portland. My colleagues on the City Council and I are committed to the hard work ahead."
Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty: "Today's verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial has provided a long overdue sense of accountability in policing, but let's be clear: this is not justice. The guilty verdict is obviously the correct decision and it is historic. We all saw what happened to George Floyd on video. It's rare that police officers are brought to trial over these killings and rarer still that the officer is found guilty. But this verdict does not bring George Floyd back. It does not make his family whole again. It does not make the community whole."
Portland Commissioner Carmen Rubio: "As elected officials, we have a responsibility to listen and act in response to our community's plea for change, and that move us toward justice. Today's decision will not be an indication that America is changing unless we make it so."
Portland Police Association: "A Minnesota jury has imposed justice in finding Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. This is the first step in our nation's healing as we continue to rebuild trust with the communities we serve."
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer: "Today was an important step in an ongoing struggle for racial justice."
Multnomah County Commission: "This country's history, and its ongoing legacy of racism, discrimination, mass incarceration, poverty, stark health disparities and murder of Black people means that so much work remains to build a more equitable country. As the Board of County Commissioners, we vow to continue our efforts to build toward justice in our own community by dismantling the systems, including those within our own organization, that contribute to the oppression of Black, Indigenous and all communities of color and helping people heal from the harms caused by those wrongs."
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt: "We need a commitment, through policy change, that these incidents won't continue to happen."
Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reece: "While the verdict will never bring back George Floyd, it provides a measure of closure to his family, friends and the greater community. The systems of accountability worked, holding an individual, who worked within that very system responsible for their criminal actions."
State Rep. Karin Power: "Let this moment of accountability be a turning point in our history, toward a future where it's not a surprise when murderers of BIPOC people are held responsible. It's on all of us to continue the work to dismantle structural racism."
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