RICHMOND, Va. -- Leaders in Virginia are sharing their reactions to the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd. The jury returned a unanimous verdict on Tuesday afternoon after around 10 hours of deliberations.
Earlier on Tuesday before the verdict was released, Gov. Ralph Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said they have been working together, expecting demonstrations, but preparing for what could come following the verdict.
Richmond Police also put out a statement saying that they were prepared to ensure public safety before, during and after any demonstrations.
Mayor Stoney shared the following statement about the verdict:
This verdict makes it clear to everyone in America that Black lives matter. We all bear a responsibility to change and hold accountable the unjust systems that have harmed Black Americans. I stand with all Richmonders in our commitment to do the hard work ahead and realize a better day in our city, commonwealth and country. However you decide to express your feelings as a result of this decision, I ask that you please do so peacefully, safely and with respect for your neighbors and all who call this city home.
Following the verdict, Gov. Northam said that his hope was that justice would be served.
And the jury has found the defendant on all three counts, and so, justice has been served. And while this won't bring back Mr. Floyd, this is a terrible loss for his family, this will hopefully at least give them some small type of peace so that we can all move forward together -- their family, and also this country.
Along with local and state police responding to protests, the Virginia National Guard was also deployed at times. Northam said that while the national guard is always at the ready, no requests for deployment have been made at this time.
Following the verdict, Chauvin's bail was revoked. He will now remain in custody until sentencing.
A number of other Virginian leaders took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to share their thoughts about the verdict.
George Floyd’s life mattered. Justice has been served.— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) April 20, 2021
Nothing will bring him back. But we owe it to Mr. Floyd, his family, and far too many others like him to take meaningful action to reform our policing system. We can start by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
This verdict is a start, but it does not absolve Congress and the federal government of our responsibility to reform policing across the country, and it is a reminder of the need for the Senate to pass the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicingAct.— Rep. Bobby Scott (@BobbyScott) April 20, 2021