Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he would not call Tuesday's guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin justice because justice "implies true restoration." Still, he said, "It is accountability, which is the first step towards justice."
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died on Memorial Day 2020 as Chauvin held his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.
"Now the cause of justice in your hands, and when I say your hands, I mean the hands of the people of the United States," Ellison said at a press conference with the Floyd family. "George Floyd mattered. He was loved by his family and his friends."
Floyd's death "shocked the conscience of our community, our country, the whole world," Ellison said. "He was loved by his family and friends, but that isn't why he mattered. He mattered because he was a human being."He pointed to the variety of people who stopped while Chauvin had Floyed pinned beneath his knee and pleaded with the officer to stop. Some took out their cell phones and recorded the incident.
"Why did they stop? They didn't know George Floyd? They didn't know he had a beautiful family," he said. "They stopped and raised their voices and they even challenged authority because they saw his humanity. They stopped and they raised their voices because they knew that what they were seeing was wrong."
Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, said, "We got to keep fighting. I'm going to put up a fight every day, because I'm not just fighting for George anymore. I'm fighting for everybody around this world."
He said he gets calls and texts from people from people around the world dailying saying "We won't be able to breathe until you're able to breathe.'
"Today," he said, "we are able to breathe."
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