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Press Release

Brennan Center Statement on Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict

Chauvin found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd

April 20, 2021
Contact: Derek Rosenfeld, Media Contact,, 646-292-8381

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd.

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, had the following comment:

“Today’s verdict offers some justice in the murder of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin is a murderer, and deserves the full punishment of the law. Our system has held him accountable.

“When those who are agents of the law are themselves the lawbreakers, such verdicts are rare, which is why this verdict is not the end of the fight for justice. 

“George Floyd’s murder set off a long overdue confrontation with systemic racism in America, in our criminal justice system and throughout our society. There is work we as a country need to do to hold law enforcement officers in every part of the United States accountable for their actions.

“That is a job for policymakers, and we must ensure fundamental legislative change occurs. Congress must act to strengthen and improve the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act — listening to the voices of those who cast ballots for a transformation of policing this past November.

“More importantly, it is a job for officeholders at the state and local level. We must reimagine policing so it earns the trust of the communities it serves, while protecting all Americans from violence.

“George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Daunte Wright, Eric Garner and too many others have been brutalized by a criminal justice system that is stacked against Black Americans. We must say their names. We must say Black Lives Matter. We must commit to building a society free from state-sanctioned racism and violence.

“The Brennan Center stands with those who will continue to fight for racial justice. We will not turn back from the challenging and necessary work to achieve real change.”

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary, defend – our country’s systems of democracy and justice.