BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has shared his thoughts following Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the death of George Floyd.
“For far too long the people’s demands for justice and accountability following the deaths of unarmed civilians by police have gone unanswered. Today’s verdict marks a turning point where equal justice under the law should become accessible to every community,” Woodfin said in a statement on his Facebook page.
On Tuesday, a jury found Chauvin, a former officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, guilty on all three charges related to the murder of Floyd last May. The jurors deliberated for less than a full day before reaching their verdict.
Woodfin called the verdict the “beginning of what I hope will be the reckoning that this country desperately needs to continue to push for meaningful reforms that will make community public safety a reality for all.”
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said he hopes now that a verdict has been reached, the community and police force can work together to “prevent these types of injustices.”
Speaking on behalf of the Birmingham City Council, Council President William Parker and President Pro Tem Wardine Alexander also released a joint statement on the verdict:
Today is a day of reckoning – a day in which the arc of the moral universe bent a little more towards justice. We, along with the rest of the world, watched as a jury in Minneapolis delivered guilty verdicts on all counts against the man who murdered George Floyd in front of our eyes.Birmingham City Council
This verdict will never fill the void left behind by Mr. Floyd, but for his friends, family and everyone who witnessed and felt their pain, our hope is this decision will bring a sense of reprieve.
In the weeks and months that have passed since George Floyd lost his life under the knee of Mr. Chauvin, our hearts have been broken. To the family and friends of Mr. Floyd: Birmingham weeps for your loss and we stand beside you as justice is delivered. Today gives us all hope for a better future – one in which justice can and will prevail no matter how hopeless it seems.
Today’s verdict shows us we can still build the world we want for our children. So, let us mourn those that we have lost to these cruel and unjust acts and honor their memory by doing everything we can to build a system that finally fulfills the promise of liberty and justice for all. We see you. We hear you. The Birmingham City Council is with you.
Chauvin will be sentenced for all three charges in the coming weeks. He faces up to 75 years in prison.