Friday, May 7, 2021

‘We cannot rest’: Barack Obama says verdict in Derek Chauvin trial necessary, but far from sufficient

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An hour after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the murder trial of Black American George Floyd, former US president Barack Obama said the jury did the right thing but true justice requires much more. The 12 jurors on Tuesday found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death in May 2020, CNN reported.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said, “eight weeks from now we will have sentencing.” The former police officer was charged with killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, which was captured on video footage in May 2020 and triggered nationwide demonstrations for racial justice.

Issuing a statement on Twitter, Obama said, “For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?

Here’s the entire statement from former US president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle:

Via @BarackObama on Twitter

“In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.”

“True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest,” he added.

Obama further said: “We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalised.”

“And as we continue the fight, we can draw strength from the millions of people especially young people who have marched and protested and spoken up over the last year, shining a light on inequity and calling for change. Justice is closer today not simply because of this verdict, but because of their work,” his statement added.

Offering prayers to the Floyd family, the former US President said, “Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.”



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