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Jacksonville, state leaders respond to Chauvin guilty verdict

"Justice has prevailed, but this is not a happy day, because this day never should have happened," said Rep. Val Demings. "George Floyd's life mattered."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Minneapolis jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts stemming from the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

The 12 jurors unanimously determined Chauvin's guilt on second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter after deliberating for just a few hours Tuesday. Reactions nationwide were immediate and emotional as people watched and listened to the verdict being read.

In Jacksonville and across Florida, people took to social media to share their thoughts and feelings on the verdict and what it means for the criminal justice system.

"Today the world saw painfully earned justice delivered for George Floyd," tweeted Duval County Democratic Party Chairman Daniel Henry. "But we can't stop now. We must continue to demand fair policing and accountability in all of our communities."

Rep. Al Lawson released the following statement on the verdict:

“Today, our criminal justice system got it right. Those who abuse their power and commit criminal acts must be held accountable. The whole world watched that tragic 9 minute and 29 second video as the air left George Floyd’s body. He didn’t deserve to die. He was a son, a father, a brother and he reignited a movement. This trial has reopened deep wounds, and now our community must go through a period of healing. The guilty verdict was a victory for his family, for all those who peacefully marched in the streets, and for those who have lost loved ones to senseless violence.

“It has been a very difficult year for many of us across this nation. How many more videos do we have to watch before we see change? We rely on our system to protect us all – and there is no room for racial bias. We need to set a new standard in policing. The Senate must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”

Read below for a roundup of Jacksonville and state leaders' statements on social media in response to the Chauvin verdict.

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The NAACP Florida State Conference released the following statement:

“Our hearts go out to the family of George Floyd. Finally, justice prevailed! What we've all witnessed during this trial has confirmed what we saw in the video. Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. We know the jury deliberated for nearly eleven hours and we commend them for their courage. The NAACP Florida State Conference hopes this begins true healing as we will not rest and will continue our efforts to ensure the deaths of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and countless others are not in vain but move us toward true and unadulterated justice for our community. While we applaud today’s verdict, this will not provide justice for all victims of police misuse of force and we must recognize that police reform remains a major objective of the NAACP.” 

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