People in the Black community aren't breathing a sigh of relief following the guilty verdict in the murder case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, former first lady Michelle Obama said Friday.
Saying "many of us still live in fear," Obama admitted she fears for the safety of daughters Sasha and Malia "every time" while they're driving.
"We know that while we're all breathing a sigh of relief over the verdict, there's still work to be done," Obama said on "CBS This Morning." "So we, we can't sort of say, 'Great. That happened. Let's move on.' I know that people in the Black community don't feel that way because many of us still live in fear."
Many Black Americans are fearful while going through their daily activities, Obama said, adding that that "every time" her daughters "get in in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn't know everything about them."
She said people may not know that her daughters are "good students and polite girls, but maybe they're playin' their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption. The innocent act of getting a license puts fear in our hearts."
Obama's comments came before news broke Friday that a federal grand jury had indicted Chauvin and 3 other police officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng, and Tou Thao — for their involvement in the death of George Floyd. They are accused of willfully violating Floyd's constitutional rights while he was being restrained face-down on the pavement.
Chauvin is facing federal charges of violating Floyd's right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force by a police officer, while Thao and Kueng are also charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure. All 4 men face charges of failing to provide Floyd with medical care, and Chauvin was charged in a second indictment stemming from the 2017 arrest and neck restraint of a 14-year-old boy.
After Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd, Obama and former President Barack Obama issued a rare statement, commending the jury for doing the "right thing" but cautioning that "if we're being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial."
The former first lady said Friday she and her husband had felt compelled to speak out.
"The goal is to let leaders lead," she said. "But in certain times, people, you know, look to us often. 'Well, what do you think? How do you feel?'"
Obama added that there must be more discussion and that the Black community must ask its fellow citizens to listen more, "to believe us, and to know we don't wanna be out there marching. I mean, all those Black Lives Matter kids, they'd rather not have to worry about this. They're takin' to the streets because they have to. They're tryin' to have people understand that we're real folks, and the fear that many have of so many of us is irrational. And it's based on a history that is just, it's sad and it's dark. And it's time for us to move beyond that."
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