Derek Chauvin’s conviction sparks reactions from Christian leaders – Joe Bidden, Rev. Jackson, Al Sharpton and more
A jury has found ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd on Tuesday.
Jamal Bryant, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, traveled to Minnesota to pray with Floyd’s family and offer support. He was in the company of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and Rev. Al Sharpton when the verdict was announced. He was recorded in a video clip declaring “wow!” as they heard the outcome of the highly charged case that had for months captured the world’s gaze.
He said both Rev. Jackson and Al Sharpton were both in tears as Derek Chauvin’s conviction was being read.
“Historic moment…. watched the guilty verdict of #derekchauvin with my mentors @real_sharpton @revjjackson … to see them both in tears reminds me of the pain our people have endured on the road to justice! Let us March on….. #georgefloyd“
On Wednesday morning Bryant expressed gratitude to all the people who helped to create the moment that blanketed many communities across America with hope and pomp.
“Good morning to all the activist, protestors, prayer warriors, marchers, t-shirt wearers, petition signers, fist raisers, meme posters, barbershop philosophers, agitators, rabble rousers and candle lighters,” Bryant said in a statement on Instagram. “Take a moment and breathe! This couldn’t have happen without YOU! We made history! All 3 counts and he going to jail. Give yourself a minute. I know the fight continues but don’t let your gloves get tattered! … I’m praying for you, proud of you and cheering for you!”
Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, lost his life in police custody on May 25, 2020, after he was restrained for several minutes by Minneapolis Police Department officers. Chauvin was caught on video kneeling into Floyd’s neck as he begged for his life until he stopped breathing.
The Minneapolis Police Department said that officers had responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery in a statement. Authorities were told someone tried to pay with a fake $20 bill at Cup Foods. The video of Floyd’s death sparked international protests and calls for justice from many Christian leaders.
In a remark, on Tuesday, practicing Catholic, President Joe Biden, said Floyd’s killing is “a murder in the full light of day” and Derek Chauvin’s conviction is “a step forward.”
“It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the vice president just referred to — the systemic racism that is a stain our nation’s soul; the knee on the neck of justice for black Americans; the profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every single day,” Biden said.
George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, said he “prayed” Chauvin would be convicted. Speaking about the verdict, he said he was relived. He also compared his brother to Emmett Till, a 14-year-old who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955. The difference between the cases was technology, he concluded.
“I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity … for hopefully getting some sleep,” he started.
“Today, you have cameras all around the world to see and show what happened to my brother, …I could do nothing but watch, especially in that courtroom over and over and over again, watching my brother get murdered,” he added.
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