Here’s how celebrities and the public reacted to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict in George Floyd murder

Harriet Brewis
Wednesday 21 April 2021 09:04
news

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Chauvin, 45, pinned Floyd, 46, to the ground with his knee in Minneapolis last May.

A harrowing recording of the incident triggered a racial justice movement across the US that quickly spread to the rest of the world.

On Tuesday, Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The verdict was met with jubilant celebrations across the country, as the landmark trial came to a close following 10-hours of jury deliberation.

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Celebrities and politicians from America and beyond hailed it as a moment of triumph after years of “misguided justice”.

President Joe Biden welcomed the verdict, while Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey, two of the most prominent black women in America, led the response from Hollywood.

In a statement shared on her website alongside a childhood picture of Floyd sleeping in his mother’s arms, Beyonce said: “After too many years of misguided justice, today is a good day.

“I encourage all of us to continue to pray for George Floyd’s family and for all the families who seek justice for their loved ones who are victims of too many years of inequalities.”

Beyonce encouraged her fans to ‘continue to pray for George Floyd’s family’

(Beyonce.com)

Winfrey said she was brought to tears when the verdict was read.

She wrote on Instagram: “Relieved—and emotional in ways I didn’t expect. I cried tears of joy as each verdict was read. I’m grateful to the witnesses and their testimonies.”

The presenter and actor added she was “grateful to Darnella Frazier”, the teenager who filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd.

She continued: “Grateful to every Juror for seeing and acknowledging what the world saw on that tape. Thank you God for real! #GeorgeFloyd.”

Chart-topping singer Mariah Carey tweeted “Hallelujah!!!!!!!!” in response to the news, before adding:

Chris Evans, an actor best known for playing Captain America in the Marvel films, said:

Scandal actor Kerry Washington wrote: “A guilty #verdict. But this fight for justice is not over. We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us. But RIGHT NOW please take CARE of yourself. And let’s take care of each other. Prayers and love to the family of #GeorgeFloyd.”

She also set out steps people could take to continue the march towards lasting change:

Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis shared a painting of Floyd and said:

Barack and Michelle Obama issued a statement welcoming the verdict, but warning America’s problem with race was far from solved.

They said: “True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognise that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last.

“And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.”

Euphoria actress Zendaya posted a picture of Floyd to her Instagram, while prolific TV producer Shonda Rhimes tweeted “justice is truth.”

Singer Justin Timberlake said the verdict represented “the first step in a long line of injustice against the Black community, often with no consequences”:

British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton also shared his reaction, describing the verdict as “monumental”.

He added: “But this is just one step on the path towards a more equal society. Since George’s death, so many other Black people have died at the hands of the police and we must ensure the momentum of today continues. The fight isn’t over, and there is more to be done.”

Pop star Mandy Moore also said she was praying for Floyd’s family. She tweeted:

Hawaii Five-0 actor Daniel Dae Kim, who has been widely praised for his work condemning a spike in violence against the Asian community in the US, tweeted:

And poet Amanda Gorman, who rose to international attention following her address during Biden’s inauguration, shared a more sobering point:

Meanwhile, here’s how people reacted in the streets:

Let’s hope this is the start of a new chapter in the criminal justice system, both in the US and across the world.

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