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April 20, 2021

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING CONVICTION OF DEREK CHAUVIN

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement in response to the verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. A jury convicted Chauvin today in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd.

"Today justice was served, and I hope this verdict brings some measure of peace to the family and friends of George Floyd, and allows them to begin recovering not just from Floyd's tragic death but also from the trauma of the trial. I am also hopeful that this verdict will begin the healing our country needs.

"I would like to congratulate my colleague, Keith Ellison, on a well-conducted prosecution. It should be noted that the successful prosecution was obtained with testimony of fellow officers within the Minneapolis Police Department who refused to sign off on an illegal and unconscionable use of force. Let that be a new standard.

"While George Floyd was not the first unarmed Black man to die at the hands of police, his death galvanized Americans in a historic way. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of people to remain at home with little else to distract from the horror of the video depicting George Floyd's cries for his mother as he struggled to breathe. As a result, streets throughout the country filled with people demanding change to the status quo.

"Today's verdict must not mark an end to a struggle toward eliminating the systemic problems that have tolerated police misconduct. It would be a mistake to take the 'bad-apple' approach to evaluating the impact of this case. I, for my part, am committed to utilizing the tools and resources of my office toward confronting the systemic problems that have tolerated unconstitutional policing in departments throughout the country. I will also continue to partner with community leaders, advocates and law enforcement agencies to enact policies that facilitate preventing future tragedies."

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