Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison heralded the conviction of ex-cop Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death on Tuesday — saying he would not call it “justice” but at least “the first step toward justice.”
“This has to end. We need true justice,” Ellison said outside the courthouse after the verdict was announced. “That’s not one case. That is a social transformation that says that nobody’s beneath the law, and no one is above it. This verdict reminds us that we must make enduring systemic, enduring societal change.”
Ellison, whose office prosecuted Chauvin’s murder and manslaughter trial, said the conviction was only a beginning.
“I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies restoration,” he said. “But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice. And now the cause of justice is in your hands.”
“And when I say your hands, I mean the hands of the people of the United States.”
The jury deliberated for 10 hours before finding Chauvin guilty of all charges — second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter — in Floyd’s police custody death on May 25.
“George Floyd matters,” Ellison said. “He was loved by his family and his friends. His death shocked the consciousness of our community, our country, the whole world.”
“But that isn’t why he mattered,” he added. “He mattered because he was a human being. And there is no way we can turn away from that reality.”
The attorney general also suggested that his office would be bringing another case later this summer, but offered no details.