Governor Tim Walz released the following statement in response to the verdict reached in the trial of Derek Chauvin:

Today’s verdict is an important step forward for justice in Minnesota. The trial is over, but our work has only begun.

The world watched on May 25, 2020 as George Floyd died with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Thousands of Minnesotans marched in the streets last summer in the wake of his death—inspiring a movement around the globe. While many of these people never met George, they valued his humanity. They knew what happened was wrong. They called for change, and they demanded justice.

A year later, Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of murder and faces years behind bars.

But we know that accountability in the courtroom is only the first step.

No verdict can bring George back, and my heart is with his family as they continue to grieve his loss. Minnesota mourns with you, and we promise the pursuit of justice for George does not end today.

True justice for George only comes through real, systemic change to prevent this from happening again. And the tragic death of Daunte Wright this week serves as a heartbreaking reminder that we still have so much more work to do to get there.

Too many Black people have lost—and continue to lose—their lives at the hands of law enforcement in our state.

Our communities of color cannot go on like this. Our police officers cannot go on like this. Our state simply cannot go on like this. And the only way it will change is through systemic reform.

We must rebuild, restore, and reimagine the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We must tackle racial inequities in every corner of society—from health to home ownership to education. We must come together around our common humanity.

Let us continue on this march towards justice.

Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan released the following statement:

Justice for George Floyd means building a community and a state where everyone is safe. While nothing will bring George back, this verdict is a step toward the vision of justice that sent thousands of people into the streets, demanding change.

In his last moments, George cried out to his mother. His life and his humanity mattered. Our work is not done until every mother’s child is safe, valued, and protected. We must be bold in our thinking, steadfast in our commitment to one another, and courageous enough to reimagine what true public safety means. And we must never forget George Floyd’s daughter, who will grow up without a father.

The grief and pain of so many Minnesotans doesn’t go away with one verdict, even a verdict towards justice. And the legacy of this moment and this movement does not end today.

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