A Community Responds to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd

State and local elected representatives; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Senator John W. Mannion, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, and Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner. Organizations such as CenterState CEO’s President Robert M. Simpson and Syracuse Stage have issued statements regarding the prosecution of former Police Officer Derek Chauvin and the death of George Floyd.

Robert M. Simpson President of CenterState CEO announced that the organization has created a special response for the community called “Resources for Businesses” this offers guidance to businesses on dealing with issues that impact communities of color. (see link and quote below)

Syracuse Stage reiterated their stance from a year ago, “On May 31, 2020, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of George Floyd, Syracuse Stage pledged to stand against racism and for justice. Today— recognizing the accountability represented by the verdict in the trial of Floyd’s murderer, yet knowing that one verdict does not end systemic racism nor the cycles of violence perpetrated against Black Americans—we reaffirm our pledge.”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh “In the end, the jury saw what we all saw: the murder of a helpless man. I hope the decision brings comfort to George Floyd’s family in knowing that justice has been served.”

Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner “Today, we witnessed a family get justice for the murder of their beloved family member. Our nation and the world saw our criminal justice system perform as it was designed according to our value system. The tragedy is we were prepared to be disappointed, yet again. Today our country took a huge step forward”.

NYS Attorney General Latitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement in response to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd: “Almost one year ago, the Floyd family and communities across this nation were torn apart by the murder of George Floyd. We all watched in helpless desperation as a man was mercilessly killed by the knee of a police officer. Today, there is finally accountability for this atrocious crime that stole the life of a father, brother, son, and friend. I pray that the Floyd family finds some semblance of justice and peace for this horribly unjust act. While true justice will never be served as long as Black men and women are subjected to such inequality, today, we are one step closer to a fairer system.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo “The verdicts delivered today were a powerful statement of accountability. George Floyd’s family and his loved ones got well-deserved closure, and all of us who deeply and personally felt his loss gained hope in the possibility of progress.

But while I’m grateful that the jury returned these verdicts, accountability is not the same as justice. It doesn’t make an unacceptable situation acceptable, and it doesn’t bring Gianna’s dad back. But it must fuel our continued march towards equity.

Emmett Till. Medgar Evers. Rodney King. Amadou Diallo. Sean Bell. Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Philando Castile. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Daunte Wright. Adam Toledo. Our country has never fully lived up to its founding ideal, of liberty and justice for all. Still, our greatest attribute has always been our optimism, our belief in an ever better future, our faith in the strength of humanity.

We saw that faith in streets across the country last summer and over the last 11 months. Our charge now is to channel our grief, our anger, our righteous energy, and make real, positive, and long-overdue change happen.”

Rob Simpson

CenterState CEO Offers Resources for Businesses Following the Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict also issued a statement,It has been nearly a year since the death of George Floyd. Today, as we reflect on the verdict in the trial of the Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in his death, we must examine our respective roles that enabled the systemic racism and intolerance that has led us to this moment. While this court trial has reached a just and necessary conclusion, the recent deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, and other ongoing injustices, remind us of the challenges still before us, and that work is still very critical and urgent.

As employers in particular, we must recognize the very real trauma our Black and brown colleagues continue to endure as they watch, react and cope with these injustices. That includes a responsibility to support our employees and recognize that the ongoing prevalence of racial and social injustice in our nation has left many hurting.

We strongly encourage you to consider how you can support your staff and colleagues in the wake of this case and as we all move forward. Below you’ll find a list of ways you can engage your staff in dialogues to help ensure their voices are heard. You will also find tools to help you advance your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

I genuinely believe this is a moment when the business community must dig deeper and lead through corporate responsibilities for social and economic justice. Our shared goals of greater equality, equity and economic opportunity for all – regardless of color, race, religion or sexual-orientation – are too important to stand on the sidelines at a time when our collective determination, leadership and engagement are needed most.”

Robert M. Simpson
President & CEO

CenterState CEO’s has created a special response for the community called “Resources for Businesses” click on the following link for a list of CenterState Resources for Businesses

Sen. Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand “Today’s verdict delivers a small measure of justice to the family of George Floyd, but nothing can ever erase the pain of losing a loved one. Our nation remains in a moment of moral reckoning and we must take bold and decisive action. Congress must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to address the systemic and institutional racism that plagues our criminal justice system and continues to lead to the deaths of countless Black Americans.”

John W. Mannion

Senator John W. Mannion on Verdict in George Floyd Murder Trial, “The murder of George Floyd released a wave of powerful emotions across the country. I hope that this conviction brings closure to his family and healing to our communities.

For many people from communities of color, it is not difficult to picture what happened to George Floyd happening to someone from their own family. That is terrifying and no citizen should live in fear of the police.

Two things can be true at the same time – police officers are public servants who keep our communities safe while the institution of policing needs to be reimagined and redefined.

Successful police reforms that protect the community and our officers will only come through respectful and ongoing dialogue. I will continue to work as a facilitator and participant in these conversations.”

“Daddy Changed the World” 

George Floyd

The aforementioned quotes and comments are just a few of many statements made this week after the trial and conviction of former Police Officer Derek Chauvin. This isn’t the end as three more Police Officers will stand trial for the death of George Floyd; some have theorized that these individuals may plea bargain instead of facing a jury.

History will note this conviction, and trial changed the way America viewed excessive force from Law Enforcement. In a rare rejection of an officer’s defense the Police Chief along with other law enforcement officials testified against their own. The “Blue Wall” crumbled before our very eyes. The question remains will this be the catalyst that forces substantive changes to how we “police”? As President Biden said to George Floyd’s daughter Gianna following the verdict, “Daddy changed the world”.