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Pittsburgh And Pennsylvania Figures React To Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all three charges in connection to the death of George Floyd.

WATCH: Criminal Defense Attorney Reacts To Verdict

Chauvin was found guilty of the following charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The verdict was read in court Tuesday afternoon after the jury had deliberated for around 10 hours over the course of Monday and Tuesday.

The southwestern Pennsylvania community has been quick to respond and react to the news of Chauvin's conviction.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said on Twitter that, "A measure of justice has been done today for George Floyd and his loved ones."

He added, "But true justice won't come until we do the hard work of changing policing and ending centuries of discriminatory and traumatic policymaking. Our system is broken. Justice for victims of brutal police tactics comes far too rarely. Thank you to the community leaders and advocates who stood up for George Floyd and refused to be silenced. I'm listening. Let's get to work."

"Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. He was clearly guilty. The fact that this verdict is surprising shows how rare it is to achieve some sliver of justice in our deeply flawed system," Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wrote on Twitter.

Fetterman's Democratic rival in the 2022 U.S. Senate race, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, said in a statement that the verdict sent "an important message" but that other actions are still needed.

"...our work to dismantle systemic racism at every level of our society – especially the criminal justice system – is far from over," Kenyatta said. "Every day, Black and brown people continue to be unfairly targeted by police and have to worry about whether their lives are at risk simply for existing. We have to come together to acknowledge and fight back against the discrimination and violence being faced by communities of color every day and push for necessary reform in every police department from coast to coast."

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying that "justice was served" with the verdict.

"I was relieved to see that justice was served in the jury's decision today finding Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges in the horrific murder last year of George Floyd," Peduto said. "But I also realize that no verdict can bring back a life or eliminate the pain the Floyd family and so many Americans — especially in our Black community — continue to feel. We cannot erase centuries of systemic racism, and our efforts to uplift and support our minority neighbors must continue today and for years to come."

Another candidate for Pittsburgh Mayor, State Rep. Ed Gainey, spoke out on Twitter.

"To honor the memories of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Breonna Taylor, Antwon Rose & all victims of police violence, we have to continue to fight to hold officers accountable for their actions & create a more just system where no person is senselessly killed by police," Gainey wrote along with a prepared statement.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald called the result "a just verdict."

"While today's verdict will not bring back George Floyd or reduce the pain that his family continues to endure, I hope that it can help ensure that other families will not have this same devastation or experience," Fitzgerald said. "I am hopeful that today's verdict will spur conversations about what can and should be done in the way of reforms at a state and federal level, and that we see legislation that can be impactful and move us towards a time when incidents such as this one do not occur again."

Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schuber said in part:

"The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police recognizes that our legitimacy is highly dependent on the mutual trust and respect we have with the communities we serve. Law enforcement is always evolving and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police remains steadfast in its commitment to working hand in hand with the public to implement professional law enforcement services that are fair, equitable, transparent and procedurally just to all members of the community."

U.S. Senator Bob Casey wrote the following on Twitter:

"This verdict is about accountability, but it is not justice. While Derek Chauvin will be held accountable for the murder of George Floyd, it's not enough. Countless others have died at hands of police because of a broken system that must be reformed," Casey said.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey said in a statement that he hoped that the Floyd family found peace with the verdict.

"Today, Derek Chauvin was convicted by a jury of his peers of the murder of George Floyd. My sympathies remain with the Floyd family. While nothing can cure the hurt the Floyd family lives with every day, I do hope this verdict brings them a degree of solace."

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle said "this is the first step on a long road" on Twitter.

"Although the guilty verdicts won't bring back George Floyd and so many others, I believe justice was served today. This is the first step on a long road to fixing the systemic issues facing our society," Doyle wrote on Twitter.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a statement, saying:

"Today's conviction is one step of accountability on a long road toward justice. The failures of our system haunt our country's history, from Dred Scott to Rodney King to Trayvon Martin, but we can write a new chapter.

"The mandate of equal justice under the law must be fulfilled each day and in each case. Let us resolve to continue our collective efforts to combat structural racism, in all its forms, and in all institutions so that we may achieve real and lasting justice.

"My heart is with all Americans experiencing pain and trauma tonight, and with the Floyd family, who will spend their lives missing George Floyd — their dad, their brother, and their friend."

In the evening, Bishop David Zubik with the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said in a statement that "every human life is precious to God."

"The verdict in the George Floyd case is a declaration that we must all be committed to the protection of everyone in the community and that our communities are committed to justice. It is my prayer that this verdict is not an end, but an important step on the road to uprooting the sin of racism from our hearts and from our communities," Zubik said.

On a national level, former President Barack Obama also voiced his opinion on the verdict.

"Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied," Obama tweeted with a statement.

Stay with KDKA as we follow this developing story.

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