Gov. Hogan and local leaders reacted to former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty in the death of George Floyd.
In a tweet, Hogan said:
"The senseless murder of George Floyd served as yet another reminder that we still have a long way to go to live up to our nation’s highest ideals. Justice has now been served, and we hope that this verdict will bring some measure of peace to the Floyd family and the community."
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison also released a statement on the Chauvin case verdict:
“As a law enforcement executive, the actions and conduct of Chauvin not only failed to represent the oath to protect and serve, but it was shocking to the consciousness to every human being that watched that video, and I believe that justice has been appropriately served. This is not how any officer should conduct themselves. Our department will continue to support members of our community that want to exercise their first amendment rights and peacefully gather in reference to the verdict in this case. We ask that residents continue to demonstrate in a peaceful and orderly fashion, just as they had done last year during the months after learning of the murder of George Floyd.”
Mayor Brandon Scott released a statement as well:
“My heart goes out to the loved ones of George Floyd, and I hope they find some healing in today’s verdict. Regardless of this decision, more work remains to prove once and for all that Black lives matter in America. We must honor George’s legacy and join together to build an inclusive system that truly works for everyone.”
U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.):
“The jury has reached the right verdict. But nothing will bring George Floyd back or heal the pain that his family and loved ones continue to experience. While today’s verdict was just, we must think of the Black Americans who have never received justice. We must move with urgency to confront and defeat systemic racism in all its forms, and Congress must act immediately to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.):
“America’s justice system may be far from perfect, but it can still deliver justice. George Floyd did not need to die. Derek Chauvin’s use of force was far beyond anything that should be acceptable anywhere in this country. The officer’s guilt was unequivocal. At this moment, my thoughts are with the Floyd family and this personal moment of justice, as well as with every family of color that has watched video after video and pictured their child or family member as the next victim of excessive force or profiling. This deadly cycle cannot keep repeating itself.
“As a nation, we simply must do more to ensure that the basic human rights of Americans are protected at all times, even if they are suspected of a crime. We also must fundamentally reform our thinking and systems so that individuals are not assumed suspects because of the color of their skin or the clothes they wear. It’s morally wrong and a waste of legitimate police resources.
“No matter how this trial ended, the Senate has a duty to take up and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that was approved by the House of Representatives last month. This comprehensive package includes bills that I authored, including the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act [cardin.senate.gov], which would prohibit the use of racial and religious profiling by police, and the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act [cardin.senate.gov]that can begin to change the tactics used and the tenor of interactions between law enforcement and American communities, especially those of color. We need to make a change now.”
Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh:
“We watched the life being crushed from George Floyd in slow motion, over 9 ½ minutes. This verdict confirms what every person who watched the video already knew. We hope that this verdict brings a small measure of relief to Mr. Floyd’s family.
“Justice has been done. But, this cannot be the end. Systemic problems with policing and with equal justice require reform. Maryland has taken the first steps to improve the quality of policing and the quality of justice in our state. Nationally and in Maryland important work remains to be done. Our office remains committed to continuing that work.”
John B. King Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Obama:
“Though today’s verdict will not bring George Floyd back, I am relieved that Derek Chauvin has been held accountable. As a Black man in America, I know firsthand that we fail to get justice far too often. In Maryland, the General Assembly has taken significant comprehensive action to help hold police accountable. But, the truth is there is more we must do as a state and as a nation to ensure justice for Black people. That starts with dismantling systemic inequality everywhere and creating policies that truly work for us and center and respect our lives. My thoughts are with the Floyd family -- I hope they can now get some measure of the peace they deserve.”
Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori:
The just verdict reached in the Derek Chauvin trial should lead to more than a sigh of relief. On the contrary, it should spur us on in the peaceful but persistent struggle for racial justice, for genuine police reform, and towards the creation of peaceful cities and neighborhoods. As citizens, we must insist on the elimination of all forms of racism in our societal structures. Let us take personal responsibility in overcoming racism, prejudice, and other injustices. Let us also unite in praying for George Floyd, his family and all victims of racial violence and in praying for peace and calm in our communities.
U.S. Representative Kweisi Mfume:
“Today’s verdict in the Derrick Chauvin trial is a moment of justice in our country. The jury in Minnesota looked at the evidence and came to the only reasonable conclusion that could be reached: Mr. Chauvin murdered George Floyd. We saw the video and now we have an official verdict that recognizes the great injustice that occurred. For too long, the relationships between our communities and some law enforcement officers sworn to protect them have been strained and often spoiled. Defenseless men and women have too often been unjustifiably beaten and murdered at the hands of some police officers. The George Floyd murder is but one example. As members of Congress, we must continue to advance reforms of our criminal justice system and pass police accountability legislation now, once and for all.”
Statement from Police Commissioner Michael Harrison: