Indian American Leaders Hail Verdict in George Floyd Murder Trial

Pramila Jayapal (left) and Vice President Kamala Harris
Our Bureau
Washington, DC

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted April 21 on all charges — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — in the death of George Floyd that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

The verdict set off jubilation mixed with sorrow across the city and around the nation, reported AP, adding that hundreds of people poured into the streets of Minneapolis, some running through traffic with banners. Drivers blared their horns in celebration, it said.

Vice President Kamala Harris said racism was keeping the country from fulfilling its founding promise of “liberty and justice for all.”

“It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. it is a problem for every American,” she said. “It is holding our nation back from reaching our full potential. A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice,” she said.

“In George’s name and memory, we are going to make sure his legacy is intact and that history will look back at this moment,” Harris was quoted as saying by the Hill. “But we really do believe that with your leadership and the president that we have in the White House that we’re going to make something good come out of this tragedy.”

Several Indian American lawmakers and community organizations welcomed the verdict.

“I’m incredibly relieved to see Derek Chauvin held accountable — but that doesn’t make up for the fact that George Floyd should still be alive,” Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal wrote on Twitter. “We must take transformative action to finally end police brutality, racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy across America.”

Jayapal said that this is a day of reckoning, but we can’t rest here. “There are more verdicts to be delivered and our work to move forward is far from finished. We must put an end to police brutality, racism, and white supremacy. We can’t just say Black lives matter—we must fight for Black lives,” she stressed.

Congressman Ro Khanna said this verdict brought accountability, hoping that it will be the first of many.“But it doesn’t change the fact that George Floyd should still be alive today. We now must pass the Justice in Policing Act,” he wrote on Twitter. “My heart remains with the Floyd family. His life mattered. Black lives matter.”

Congressman Ami Bera tweeted: “Justice has been served.”

“Grateful for justice. My heart goes out to the Floyd family,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress.

At this critical inflection point in race relations in the United States, and a surge in reported hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association said that they reiterate their commitment to stand in solidarity with the Black community in Minnesota and across the nation in their shared goal of combating racism, discrimination, hate crimes, and other forms of bigotry.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, the largest immigrant rights organization in California, said, “This verdict is unusual, but it should not be. Justice for people of color should not be unusual. We must strive to see justice done in every single case of police brutality. We must aspire to make it so no one has to fear for their life when police makes a traffic stop.”

Our nation must question why police and policing is much more important than the lives of our community members, said Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA.“We must invest in community and increase accountability for those who violate the human rights of our community members. Congress must step in to address the injustice they perpetrate. Mere reform is not enough to stop the racism that makes killing fields of our communities,” stated Salas.

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