United Kingdom

Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd: how the world reacted to the verdict 

A jury on Tuesday convicted former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin of murder in the arrest of George Floyd, a milestone in the fraught racial history of the United States and a rebuke of law enforcement's treatment of Black Americans.

At the Minneapolis intersection where the Black man died on May 25, a vigil gave way to celebration as crowds began to course down the streets. People hung out of their cars, honked and waved signs as images of Chauvin being handcuffed and taken into custody played on millions of TVs and phones across the US.

Politicians, rights activists and family members and even world leaders have reacted with jubilation and relief.

Here are some reactions to the verdict:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict.

"My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd's family and friends."

Former president Barack Obama said the conviction of Chauvin was correct but only one step in the fight for justice.

In a statement he said true justice requires Americans to understand that "Black Americans are being treated differently every day" and that millions live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last.

Mr Obama said the country needs to follow up on the verdict by taking concrete steps to reduce racial bias in the criminal justice system and to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity in marginalised communities.

Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate said: "George Floyd's family and community deserved for his killer to be held accountable. Today, they got that accountability. Always and forever, Black lives matter."

The American Civil Liberties Union said: "For the first time in Minnesota state history, a white police officer has been held accountable for killing a Black man.

"While today’s verdict is a small win for police accountability and may help heal a grieving community, the systems that allowed George to be murdered — ripping him away from his family and the communities that loved him so much — remain fully intact."

President Joe Biden told Floyd's family how "relieved" he was after Chauvin was found guilty.

"We're all so relieved - not just the one verdict but all three, guilty on all three counts," Mr Biden said in a phone call that was played on speaker phone and shared on social media by the family in Minneapolis.

"It's really important," Mr Biden said, promising to bring the family to the White House on Air Force One.

"Nothing is going to make it all better but at least, God, now there's some justice."

Kamala Harris, America's first Black vice president, who was also on the call added: "This is a day of justice in America. History will look back at this moment."

Loud cheering erupted from Floyd's family members watching in an adjacent courthouse room as the judge read the verdict to a city and nation on edge.

"I am feeling tears of joy, so emotional that no family in history ever got this far," Floyd's brother, Rodney Floyd said. 

"We were able to get a guilty charge on all counts. We got a chance to go to trial and we took it all the way. This right here is for everyone that's been in this situation. Everybody." 

Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump said: "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd's family.

"This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement. Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!" 

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