BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Area leaders reacted Tuesday evening following the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. The jury reached its verdict Tuesday after deliberating about 10 hours over two days in a city on edge against another outbreak of unrest.
Floyd died in May 2020, after Chauvin pinned his knee to the 46-year-old Black man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes.
On behalf of the Birmingham City Council, President William Parker and President Pro Tem Wardine Alexander issued the following statement on the verdict in the George Floyd case:
Today is a day of reckoning – a day in which the arc of the moral universe bent a little more towards justice. We, along with the rest of the world, watched as a jury in Minneapolis delivered guilty verdicts on all counts against the man who murdered George Floyd in front of our eyes. This verdict will never fill the void left behind by Mr. Floyd, but for his friends, family and everyone who witnessed and felt their pain, our hope is this decision will bring a sense of reprieve. In the weeks and months that have passed since George Floyd lost his life under the knee of Mr. Chauvin, our hearts have been broken. To the family and friends of Mr. Floyd: Birmingham weeps for your loss and we stand beside you as justice is delivered. Today gives us all hope for a better future – one in which justice can and will prevail no matter how hopeless it seems. Today’s verdict shows us we can still build the world we want for our children. So, let us mourn those that we have lost to these cruel and unjust acts and honor their memory by doing everything we can to build a system that finally fulfills the promise of liberty and justice for all. We see you. We hear you. The Birmingham City Council is with you.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith released the following statement:
The Birmingham Police Department has shared sentiments in the fight for justice in the death of George Floyd. BPD took an early stance of solidarity with the community to stand against police brutality. Now that a verdict has been reached in the Derek Chauvin trial, it is my hope that we can begin a healing process and forge to make the necessary changes to prevent these types of injustices. We must continue our unrelenting efforts to fully improve the service we provide to all communities.
The Birmingham Police Department is committed to our community and reassuring accountability. Our motto is to protect, serve, and most importantly RESPECT. We will consistently pursue ways to positively engage the community.