Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama commended the jury’s decision Tuesday to convict Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd.
“True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day,” the Obamas said in a statement posted online. “It requires us to recognize 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.”
The former Minneapolis cop was found guilty on two counts of murder in the second and third-degree and one count of manslaughter for killing George Floyd when he placed his knee on his neck for over nine minutes last May.
“We cannot rest. 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 marginalized,” the Obamas said in their statement.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris said Tuesday at the White House that the verdict was a step in the right direction.
“Today, we feel a sigh of relief, but still, it cannot take away the pain,” Harris said. “A measure of justice is not the same as equal justice… we still must reform the system.”
Biden added that the verdict was “not enough” and that “systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul.”