Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter on Tuesday, April 20th.
Following the verdict, President Biden said he’d spoken with Floyd’s family, said the verdict was just, and called on Congress to pass legislation aimed at broader policing reforms.
“Such a verdict is also much too rare. It seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors … for the judicial system to deliver just basic accountability,” Biden said. “It’s not enough. We can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that a tragedy like this will ever occur again.”
Floyd’s death, and especially the graphic video of it, helped kicked off yet another nationwide reckoning with systemic racism and police brutality as protests swept across the country last summer. One year later, though, numerous problems with policing in America remain, as evidenced by the fact that two prominent police killings occurred during the trial’s three-week span.
On March 29th, the same day as opening statements in the Chuavin trial, a Chicago cop killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo; bodycam footage released weeks later showed Toledo with his hands up when he was shot, casting doubt on official claims that he was brandishing a gun at the time. And on April 11th, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota — just outside Minneapolis where Chauvin was on trial— a police officer killed 21-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop after allegedly mistaking her Taser for her gun.