By TN Tribune Staff

Nashville, TN- Justice is Served. Those are the words emblazoned on the NAACP website Tuesday as the national civil rights organization reacts to the news of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, being found guilty of all three charges against him.

Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

In an email message to its members, the NAACP said while justice may be served in the case of Chauvin “we will not rest until all in our community have the right to breathe. The chapter on Derrick Chauvin may be closed, but the fight for police accountability and respect for Black lives is far from over.”

The NAACP is urging the community to Sign a petition now, and demand that lawmakers put an end to qualified immunity for police officers once and for all.

“While justice landed Derek Chauvin behind bars for murdering George Floyd, no amount of justice will bring Gianna’s father back,” the NAACP said in an email to its members. “The same way a reasonable police officer would never suffocate an unarmed man to death, a reasonable justice system would recognize its roots in white supremacy and end qualified immunity.
Police are here to protect, not lynch.”

Reactions to the verdict poured in Tuesday from Tennessee and around the world.

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) said the guilty verdict does not mean justice was served for Floyd. He released the following statement:

“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?” Parkinson said.

 

Odessa Kelly, candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 5th Congressional district, released the following statement today’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial:

 

“Today’s verdict was the result of a murder, caught on camera, and the outcry of the entire world. It did not come because our justice system finally agrees that police must value Black lives. We still have a long way to go to achieve an America where the police treat us with dignity and respect, and are always held accountable when they don’t. Today is just a reminder of how far we still have to go.”

 

Tennessee Democratic legislative leadership today praised the verdict.

 

Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis), chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, and Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, issued a joint statement reacting to the guilty verdict handed to Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was on trial for the murder of George Floyd:

 

“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.”

 

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) described the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial as a small incremental step toward accountability.

 

 

“In these types of trials, the criminal justice system has historically failed Black families, further permeating and validating white supremacy within institutions. Today, however, there is a small incremental step toward accountability.

 

We hope this guilty verdict begins to show that white supremacy will not win. White supremacy has no place in democracy, especially one that is supposed to guarantee us our freedom to live.

 

But let us also be clear that this still does not bring our loved ones back. We do not get George Floyd back. His daughter and family have to grow up without him. His family continues his legacy through the George Floyd Memorial Foundation.

 

And Black Lives Matter will continue to call for abolition because we ultimately believe abolition will ensure the freedom of Black people.

 

BLMGNF will continue to work toward abolition and Black liberation– one where Black people across the diaspora thrive, experience joy, and are no longer defined by their struggles. We will continue to heal the past, re-imagine the present, and invest in the future of Black lives.”