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Barack Obama on Derek Chauvin verdict: “The jury did the right thing”

The former president says the guilty verdict was “a necessary step on the road to progress” but “it was far from a sufficient one.”

Barack Obama Vincent Thian/AP/Shutterstock

Barack Obama praised the jury who found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd, but says there is more work that needs to be done.

On Tuesday (April 20), the former president released a statement sharing his thoughts on the verdict. “Today, a jury did the right thing,” he wrote. “For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done? In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.”

“True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognize that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last,” he continued. “And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.”

“While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient once,” Obama said. “We cannot rest.”

On Tuesday (April 20), Chauvin was found guilty on three charges, including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The 12-person jury deliberated for 10 hours before rendering their verdict.

After the judgment was read, Chauvin was immediately taken away in handcuffs. His bond has been revoked and he will remain in prison until his sentencing in eight weeks.

Check out Obama’s full statement below.

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