Utahns react to verdict in Derek Chauvin trial
Apr 20, 2021, 4:40 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2023, 4:13 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Several Utahns shared their thoughts on social media after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
After about 10 hours of deliberations over two days, the jury’s verdict was read aloud from the Minneapolis courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
Twelve jurors convicted Chauvin of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
His bail was immediately revoked and he was led away with his hands cuffed behind his back.
The judge said a sentencing hearing would be scheduled in the next six-to-eight weeks. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison.
Shortly before the verdict was announced, Utah Representative John Curtis (R) released a statement that said in part: “As the country waits for a final verdict on the Derek Chauvin trial… it’s clear to me that crucial conversations that started with George Floyd’s death have not only just begun and regardless of the outcome of the trial, there’s work to do ahead.”
As the country waits for a final verdict on the Derek Chauvin trial— it’s clear to me that crucial conversations that started with George Floyd’s death have only just begun and regardless of the outcome of the trial, there’s work to do ahead. #utpol pic.twitter.com/hq0fTHxxsR
— Rep. John Curtis (@RepJohnCurtis) April 20, 2021
He went on to say, “Personally, the trial has helped me to deepen my commitment to listen better and try harder to be a unifying voice in a too often divisive world. I call on all Americans — and especially Utahns — to also focus on unity and respond to the verdict peacefully as we continue these important discussions.”
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson also issued a statement, saying her thoughts were with the friends and family of George Floyd and the nation as a whole.
“After having the opportunity to observe much of the Derek Chauvin trial, I am pleased with the results of the jury,” she wrote.
My thoughts are with the friends and family of George Floyd and the nation as a whole. After having the opportunity to observe much of the Derek Chauvin trial, I am pleased with the results of the jury. It’s clear that George Floyd was murdered without remorse.
— Mayor Jenny Wilson (@SLCoMayor) April 20, 2021
“As a community, I ask that we work collaboratively to address systemic issues regarding race and justice as we seek to reshape our institutions in order to promote accountability and justice,” the statement concluded.
The Utah Democratic Party applauded the verdict and called for more progress.
“Our judiciary has today reached a just decision and held George Floyd’s murderer accountable. This verdict is accountability, but not justice — not yet,” read the party’s statement.
The party said they had much work ahead of them in stopping these types of injustices.
“The work before us is large, difficult, and requires reconciliation with failures of systems that many of us hold close to our hearts. Still, it must be done, and Utah Democrats stand committed to demanding the changes that must be made, in solidarity with all the victims of police violence and brutality in this nation and our state.”
We know that Black Lives Matter.
We stand in solidarity with the victims of police brutality in this nation and in our state. We stand committed to stopping the systemic injustices that allowed for this tragedy to occur. Our work does not stop today.#utpol Our statement: pic.twitter.com/lgJPJytDoN
— Utah Democratic Party (@UtahDemocrats) April 20, 2021
Lex Scott, founder and president of Black Lives Matter Utah, reacted during a Facebook live post.
“Justice for George. I never thought I’d get to see justice,” she said through tears.
Scott said she did not have the words to explain her excitement.
“We celebrate tonight. Black lives matter. We celebrate the wins. We celebrate every win. We celebrate every win don’t we?” she said. “Justice for George Floyd. Justice. Now, we need a strong sentence, we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet.”
The Utah Department of Public Safety made a statement that the organization “remains committed to humanity, justice and equity for everyone within [Utah’s] borders. We honor the inalienable rights of the people and the rights that DPS officials are constitutionally sworn to protect.”
— Utah Public Safety (@UtahDPS) April 20, 2021
The statement was posted in full on their website.