Nearly a year ago, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. There was every reason to believe he would go free; it’s happened to many cops before him. And so, after a month and a half-long trial — one of the most covered in history — a number of people were relieved to learn that the jury found Chauvin guilty on all of the three counts with which he was charged.
The outpouring was immediate. From musicians to activists, they were stunned by the good news, if cautiously optimistic. After all, the long history of racial discrimination that led to Floyd’s death — and which led to a number of similar police killings during the trial itself — would not be overturned overnight. But for now, there was much rejoicing.
Guilty Guilty Guilty… No one wins.. George Floyd is still gone..and finally someone was responsible… Derek Chauvin
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) April 20, 2021
— Don” ‘t stop believing” Cheadle (@DonCheadle) April 20, 2021
GUILTY!!!! As it should be!! Now….Rest In Peace George Floyd. Rest. You and your family have been vindicated. #SayHisName@4NIKKOLAS pic.twitter.com/DgVFG7UVPF
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) April 20, 2021
Come thru Justice!
: Shirien Creates pic.twitter.com/kUW29RXcU7
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) April 20, 2021
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 20, 2021
This verdict does not bring back Mr Floyd. But justice is truth.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) April 20, 2021
You don’t applaud a fish for swimming and you don’t applaud the justice system for providing justice.
But thankfully, today, we can breathe a sigh of relief. #GeorgeFloyd
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) April 20, 2021
Justice. Sending love to George Floyd’s family and friends.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 20, 2021
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
— dan levy (@danjlevy) April 20, 2021
Thank you to the jurors. #ChauvinIsGuilty
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) April 20, 2021
A guilty verdict. Rest in love George Floyd. Sending love to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/Vwmde3A618
— o l i v i a (@oliviamunn) April 20, 2021
Others made sure to remind people how much work still has to be done.
A guilty #verdict. But this fight for justice is not over. We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us. But RIGHT NOW please take CARE of yourself. And let’s take care of each other. Prayers and love to the family of #GeorgeFloyd.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) April 20, 2021
Derek Chauvin: guilty on all 3 counts
Now let’s do the entire system of policing in this country.
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) April 20, 2021
And this isn’t even a celebration. #GeorgeFloyd was still murdered before our eyes. He’s gone. His family will never be made whole.
And how many #DerekChauvin’s are there in the world & on the police force. There’s more than ONE bad apple.
But this enough for this moment.
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) April 20, 2021
Finally. Finally. Finally. We we keep on marching. We keep on moving the needle. We keep raising our voices. We keep loving. We keep believing. Let’s keep on keeping on. Justice. Justice. Justice.
— Colman Domingo (@colmandomingo) April 20, 2021
Indeed. Mixed emotions. Elation. Sadness. Joy. Bittersweet disbelief. It’s all so tragic. It won’t bring him back. So many things still need to change. And yet… Today was a victory. Staying with that for now. #ChauvinIsGuilty #JusticeForGeorgeFloydDelivered https://t.co/xLnoKs6pSz
— Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) April 20, 2021
A beginning.. a small grain of hope for our future.
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) April 20, 2021
“We must understand that justice is a practice, not an end.” – Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (@esglaude)
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) April 20, 2021
Such responses were markedly different from those made by conservative commentators. It didn’t take long for people like Ben Shapiro, Tomi Lahren and more to spout irate nonsense, even if, in the case of Greg Gutfeld, they generally agreed with the verdict. But nevermind that for now. Here’s Barack Obama.
Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021