Tennessee leaders and organizations react to guilty verdict in Chauvin trial

Derek Chauvin trial
Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 19:56:29-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

ACLU of Tennessee:
"We hope today’s verdict brings a moment of peace to our community and to George Floyd’s family. But we cannot rest. True justice for George Floyd means renewing our conviction to create a world where police do not have the opportunity to use violence to target Black people."

NAACP Nashville:
"The jury has spoken, but our lives are still on the line. Let's end qualified immunity and collect transparent data on police encounters.
The NAACP will not rest and is well-positioned to continue our efforts to ensure the deaths of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and countless others are not in vain but move us toward true and unadulterated justice for our community."

Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition:
"George Floyd should be alive & we continue to mourn w/ his family as they are forced to live w/o their loved one. Today's verdict provides accountability, but it doesn’t change that our police & criminal legal system is based on racism & white supremacy. It can never deliver true justice for Black & brown communities. It is up to us to keep fighting to dismantle these systems, uproot white supremacy, & keep each other safe."

Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake:
“It was abundantly clear to me last May that what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis was an atrocious crime committed by a police officer. While this afternoon’s verdict properly holds the man responsible for Mr. Floyd’s death accountable, I hope that it also creates momentum for communities and law enforcement to meaningfully work together in new ways to strengthen relationships and partnerships for the sake of us all.”

Tenn. Democratic Caucus Chairs: Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis), chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, and Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus:
“A Minneapolis jury affirmed what should be true in all of America: Police brutality is illegal and no one is above the law. But George Floyd’s young daughter is still without her father. While this verdict is a new opportunity for healing and a relief for communities that have been rejected by the courts time and time again, we still have to confront the horrific culture of police brutality and ensure that accountability is the standard, not the exception.”

National President of the Fraternal Order of Police Patrick Yoes:
"Our system of justice has worked as it should, with the prosecutors and defense presenting their evidence to the jury, which then deliberated and delivered a verdict. The trial was fair and due process was served. We hope and expect that all of our fellow citizens will respect the rule of law and remain peaceful tonight and in the days to come. As I said yesterday, our First Amendment freedoms are sacred. The men and women serving their communities—law enforcement officers from numerous agencies as well as the National Guard—are there to protect you and defend your rights as Americans. We urge you to regard them as guardians of the peace and we urge members of all of our communities to be safe and to make good decisions when making their voices heard."

Rep. Mark Green:
"Derek Chauvin had 17 misconduct investigations before he took the life of George Floyd. It’s clear Chauvin’s actions were sickening and irrefutable—he was a bad cop. Today’s decision is justice for the Floyd family. However, Chauvin is no reflection of the vast majority of men and women in blue who protect our freedoms with dignity, honor, and courage."

Rep. Antonio Parkinson:
"Stop saying justice was served! It wasn't! Yes, we are thankful that the family of George Floyd received guilty verdicts. But justice was not served. The guilty verdicts simply pointed out that Derek Chauvin is a murderer. But the verdicts will not bring George Floyd back. The verdicts won't even take the life of Derek Chauvin."

"While guilty verdicts were delivered in the George Floyd case, there are many more unarmed black people in America who have been murdered at the hands of law enforcement and others and have yet to receive or will never receive justice in America. The very fact that we are even having to hold our breath as we wait for a verdict speaks to the cancer of racism that plagues America even more than that of the pandemic."

"Until the life of a black American holds the same value as that of a white American, there is no justice. America has a human rights issue before it. How can we judge other countries like China, countries in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world, when we have yet to address the human rights of black people in America?"

Tennessee Titans:
"We reject racism in every form and are committed to being part of the generation that ends it."

Metro Nashville Community Oversight: