Houston space officers describe the decision within the Derek Chauvin trial as “a defining second in American prison justice.”
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Houston area officials speak up after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the death of George Floyd. Some call this process a “crucial moment”.
Following Tuesday’s verdict reading, Harris District Attorney Kim Ogg issued a statement saying the jury showed tremendous courage to deliver a fair verdict.
“Justice is a process, and these jurors have shown tremendous courage to deliver a fair judgment,” Ogg wrote. “Millions have watched the video, which we all found devastating. Our thoughts go with the family and friends of George Floyd, a Houston son whose murder is a defining moment in American criminal justice.”
Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo also said that while the judicial system had served its purpose, there was still much to be done.
“As George Floyd’s hometown, the people of Harris County continue to feel his loss deep in our hearts. His family, neighbors, classmates and community will never forget his death and significance,” said Hidalgo. “While the judicial system has served its purpose today, there is much more work to be done to create a smarter and fairer criminal justice system. George Floyd’s legacy will be with us every step of the way.”
As George Floyd’s hometown, the people of Harris County continue to feel his loss deep in our hearts. His family, his neighbors, his classmates, his community will never forget his death and importance.
– Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) April 20, 2021
WATCH: See the moment Floyd’s family got justice for their loved one
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez took to Twitter to express his reaction to the jury who found Chauving guilty.
“Today’s ruling cannot undo generations of inequality in our country’s legal system. It does, however, show that we are making real progress towards a system that everyone can trust to bring about real justice,” wrote Gonzalez.
Today’s judgment must not undo generations of inequality under our nation’s legal system. But it shows that we are making real strides towards a system that anyone can trust to bring real justice.
– Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) April 20, 2021
Rep. Senfronia Thompson, one of many officials working to get the George Floyd Bill passed, described Tuesday’s ruling as a historic day in the criminal justice system and is relieved that Floyd’s death will have some accountability. Read their full statement below:
“Today is a historic day in our criminal justice system, and I am relieved that the senseless murder of George Floyd will be brought to justice. My prayers go out to his family and the families of those killed by police brutality. As we commend you for this verdict.” We also have to pause because we all know it could just as easily have gone the other way. Too many crimes have gone unanswered, too many deaths without justice. For George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for Tamir Rice, For Jamail Amron, for Daunte Wright, and for too many other lives, we must use every ounce of our power to end police brutality. While this is historic today, we must face the reality that the nation and this state are still in police reform The George Floyd Act was heard in a public hearing, but on the Repre’s Homeland Security and Public Security Committee sentantenhaus is still pending. I am determined to continue the fight over all of the reforms within House Bill 88 have passed this term. ”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Chief Troy Finner held a press conference shortly after observing the verdict, calling that the verdict “served justice”.
“The jury has spoken, but now it is time for our country to dig deep and find a way to move forward. As we grapple with problems at multiple levels, our law enforcement agencies and communities need to work hand in hand , in the best interests and in the best interests of the people we serve, “said Turner. “This is not one of those moments when you can say that we have accomplished our mission, or that mission accomplished something like that. It is not a time to jump up and down. It is a time to be very thoughtful and to be.” ask, ‘What can we do together, each and every one of us?’ “
Like Turner, Finner added that Tuesday’s ruling was not a celebration but a reflection and healing of the day.
“It is a day of reflection, but it is also a day of healing and a message to all that no one is above the law and specifically to those of us who have taken the law and vowed to keep it and protect one another “said Finner.
WATCH: The Houston mayor and police chief reacts to Derek Chauvin’s trial
Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said he applauded the jury for making the right decision. Garcia also expressed the importance of the commitment of communities and law enforcement agencies to work together on a path that will bring about change. Read Garcia’s full statement below:
“I applaud the jury who made the right decision and validated what so many of us across the country have seen for ourselves. Derek Chauvin faced a jury that was truly representative of his peers and had a strong defense. That The judicial system worked in this case, and we can feel confident about the verdict. The fact that members of Derek Chauvin’s own department testified that he was out of turn is a compelling argument for his guilt Officials have helped hold a bad actor in their ranks accountable. Law enforcement must seek accountability to build trust in the community, or the turmoil we have seen in recent years will continue. As someone who has been wearing a badge and a uniform for almost 30 years, these cases cause distrust of the various women and men rn who leave their lives at risk every day are always painful. However, having a judgment like this when there is overwhelming evidence is critical to proving that we can hold those who violate the public’s trust accountable for their actions. Looking ahead, it is important that our communities and law enforcement agencies commit to working together on a path that will bring about meaningful change. ”
In Fort Bend County, Judge KP George said Floyd’s death sparked a global movement as millions spoke out against systemic racism and led the call for social justice. Read George’s full statement below:
On May 25, 2020, the world watched in sad, angry, and in disbelief the heinous murder of George Floyd on the knee of Derek Chauvin. As family, friends and loved ones mourned, his death sparked a global movement as millions of people spoke out against systemic racism and led the call for social justice. Today, after weeks of viewing intrusive video footage, hearing testimonies and expert statements submitted by both defense and prosecutors, a jury of colleagues from George Floyd took less than 24 hours to find Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts to explain for murdering George Floyd. While no judgment can bring George Floyd back or heal our nation, that judgment is a necessary step on the road to progress to address racial inequality and prejudice in our criminal justice system.
We respect and support our men and women in uniform who put themselves at risk to protect us every day. However, we cannot support those who act biased and without regard to human dignity. George Floyd was buried in Fort Bend County, the most diverse county in America. In our efforts to make our community shining examples of inclusion and belonging, let us continue to work together to combat discrimination or bias of any kind.
Houston Congressman Lizzie Fletcher shared a statement hoping Tuesday’s conviction will ease the pain for Floyd’s family and make people feel that justice is possible.
“Today’s verdict on Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction is an important step in justice after a year of seeing so many legal errors. While the jury’s verdict won’t bring George Floyd back to life, I hope that today’s condemnation will ease some of the pain for his family and for all Americans and a sense that justice is possible, “Fletcher wrote. “We have much work to do to ensure justice for all Americans. Justice and progress require constant commitment and genuine commitment to the work we do to improve our laws, our law enforcement, and address the history of our country and the systems around us having to do around perpetuating inequality and injustice, especially in color communities. This work can and must be done, and now is the time for it. “
But it wasn’t just local leaders who gave their views on the verdict. The Houston Food Bank also made use of social media, calling the process “a step in combating longstanding systemic racism, but there is more justice to be served”.
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