By CBSDFW.com Staff

Mild Celebrations In Downtown Dallas Follow Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas leaders reacted Tuesday, April 20, to former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last year.

Derek Chauvin listens to guilty verdicts (CBS News)

Chauvin was shown on a teenager’s cell phone video with his knee on a handcuffed Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, killing Floyd after police were called to a story where a clerk said Floyd used a counterfeit $20.

George Floyd (courtesy: Floyd family)

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted shortly after the judge read the guilty verdicts, “A jury of Derek Chauvin’s peers has delivered justice in the only way that they could. Ultimately, the rule of law prevailed. We have more work ahead of us to make our country and our city stronger, safer, and more equitable. But today, the system worked.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price released the following statement:

Today, our justice system did what we needed it to do – deliver justice. We know that this verdict is part of a much larger ongoing conversation, nationally and locally. This is about progress and equity. This is about commitment to intentional change and preserving the dignity of every life. In Fort Worth, the work continues.

It is important to recognize that today is an incredibly emotional day for many of our friends and neighbors, especially in our communities of color. Many will find support in community, but if you are seeking emotional support, the My Health My Resources (MHMR) ICARE call center is available 24/7 by calling or texting 817-335-3022.

Additionally, our Office of the Police Oversight Monitor continues to be available for anyone in the community that would like to make a comment. Find the form here.

North Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson tweeted, “This verdict is not justice—it’s accountability. Justice is George Floyd still being alive today, raising his children and spending time with his family. I hope that they can find peace knowing that his life inspired a generation, sparked a movement, and changed the world.”

State Rep. Mark Veasey tweeted, “While the verdict marks a turning point in holding police accountable, there is still so much work to be done in the fight for justice for the countless Black and Brown people who have been killed by police. While the verdict marks a turning point in holding police accountable, there is still so much work to be done in the fight for justice for the countless Black and Brown people who have been killed by police. We must remain dedicated to pushing for critical reforms needed to address systemic racism and protect the lives of Black and Brown people across our country.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said, “This was the right result based on the evidence. Now we must return to the work of transforming police interactions, investing in communities and insuring the right response to each call. There is much work to be done.”

Bishop T.D. Jakes said in a statement:

“The jury sent an unmistakable message today that George Floyd’s death was unnecessary and criminal, that every individual accused or suspected of a crime has a right to his day in court and should not be slaughtered on a public sidewalk and that a nation that purports to be a beacon of law, justice and equality is better than what we saw in that video.⁣

“We are pleased that the jury convicted Chauvin on all three charges: second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. It sends a strong message.⁣

“While we are delighted by the jury’s verdict, we are mindful that there’s still a lot of work ahead of us. Our criminal justice system remains deeply flawed. Black people disproportionately remain victims of police brutality and are more likely to be pulled over or cited for negligible or phantom traffic violations. Let us not relent in our efforts to press our local, state and federal elected officials for police reform, particularly as it relates to qualified immunity, bias training, de-escalation training and uniform hiring standards.⁣

“My prayer is that this will ignite a safer society where justice is equally allocated to absolutely everyone irrespective of socio-economics, race, religion or gender. Thank you to the many officers who do not stoop to such atrocities and honestly work toward protecting us every day.”

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly tweeted, “As I said back in June, the killing of George Floyd was a tragedy. We respect our nation’s justice system, and while nothing can bring Mr. Floyd back, we must all commit to come together and do the work to affect real change in our communities. We recognize the long road ahead in the fight for equality for the Black community. We are committed to doing our part to drive positive change, and we do so with love in our hearts and zero tolerance for racism, hate, or injustice.”

North Texas’ WNBA team, the Dallas Wings released the following statement:

“The Dallas Wings organization supports the verdict issued today in relation to the murder of George Floyd. While justice was served in this particular case, we must not forget this verdict does not eliminate systemic racism, nor solve for the countless instances where justice has not been the outcome. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Floyd family.

The Dallas Wings, in conjunction with the WNBA and our Social Justice Council, will continue to fight for equality for all people, regardless of race, gender or religion. We will utilize our platform and work with our players, partners, colleagues, and community members through learning, advocacy and action to continue to make a difference.”

Dallas-based Mothers Against Police Brutality thanked the jurors for their guilty verdict in a news release.

“But a guilty verdict in this case cannot return George Floyd to his family. It cannot return Minneapolis to the time before May 25 of last year. It cannot return this country to a time when police brutality is thought to be the actions “a few bad apples” on any given police force,” the organization said in a news release.

“Police brutality is a routine part of policing. The use of deadly force takes the lives of a thousand people a year in America,” said Collette Flanagan, who founded MAPB in 2013 after he Dallas police killed her son, Clinton Allen, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man, a father of twin sons. “It happens literally every day. It’s a national crisis that demands a national response.”

“The reforms that police departments adopted in the wake of the murder of George may help, but they don’t reach the deep current of racism and brutality that runs through our police departments,” said John Fullinwider, a co-founder of MAPB. “There is a Derek Chauvin on every police force in the U.S. – more than one.”

“The system of policing itself must change,” said Sara Mokuria, also a co-founder, whose own father was killed by police when she was a child. “Armed force is not the solution to community harm. We simply must reduce, immediately, the number of encounters between police officers and the public. Let’s stop investing in police and start investing, at last, in the longstanding unmet community needs that undermine the lives of so many people across this country.”

The Dallas County Democratic Party issued the following statement on the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin:

“This verdict is justice for George Floyd and his family. This verdict is also justice for everyone who has ever been treated unfairly by the police, authorities, and within the American justice system,” said Carol Donovan, Dallas County Democratic Party Chairwoman.

Floyd’s brutal death sparked months of protests across the country and calls for needed legislation including the George Floyd Act in the Texas legislature and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 both of which seek to address racial bias, police misconduct and excessive force.

As the sentencing phase moves forward, and as similar cases across the country are heard in court rooms, and former cases are re-examined, it is our hope that justice will continue to prevail. This guilty verdict cannot be the end of the conversation. DCDP calls for continued and meaningful legislation and systemic changes that address racism in our justice system and further accountability for violent police misconduct.

“We realize that all governmental systems are only as good as the people within those systems,” said Donovan. “We pray for justice; we pray for equality; and we hope that all within our country will realize, once and for all, that Black Lives Matter.”

CBSDFW.com Staff