Although the jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin found him guilty of murdering George Floyd, Vice President Kamala Harris said that the verdict is insufficient to “heal the pain that existed for generations.”
“Let’s presume a guilty verdict is returned on the most serious charge; it would not alleviate the Floyd family’s suffering. It won’t take away the sorrow and frustration of the communities, regardless of color or geographic location, who were saddened and angered by what they saw in that video,” Harris told CNN on Tuesday, shortly before Chauvin was found guilty on all counts.
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Although Harris indicated that Chauvin’s “consequence and transparency” is a step in the right direction, she went on to explain why judicial justice would not alleviate the “harm” caused by years of what she previously referred to as “rogue policing.”
“This verdict is just a piece of it, and it will not cure the suffering that has existed for decades among people who have first-hand seen what is now being seen by a wider public thanks to smartphones and the ubiquity of our ability to videotape in real-time what is happening in front of our faces. And that is the reality,” Harris went on to say.
After the jury’s decision was revealed on Tuesday afternoon, others repeated Harris’ sentiments. Maya Harris, the vice president’s sister, said that a “just verdict is not the same as justice.”
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Let’s be clear: A just verdict is not the same as justice.
— Maya Harris (@mayaharris_) April 20, 2021
Although activists applauded the guilty verdict on all counts, they cautioned that “the prosecution of Derek Chauvin does not absolve policing as a whole.”
Our hearts are with the family of #GeorgeFloyd and the millions who have acted in defense of Black lives over the past 11 months. A moment of relief is here for many as the trial is over, yet the conviction of Derek Chauvin doesn’t absolve policing as a whole. #DefundThePolice pic.twitter.com/JthTdkVTDV
— Movement 4 Black Lives (@Mvmnt4BlkLives) April 20, 2021
In a press conference shortly after Chauvin was led away in handcuffs, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison qualified his remarks.
“However, I will not call today’s decision just because justice implies restoration. But it is a matter of accountability,” he said.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison: "I would not call today's verdict justice, however—because justice implies restoration. But it is accountability." https://t.co/6nN46Fosol pic.twitter.com/u2EHNl6qbN
— ABC News (@ABC) April 20, 2021