April 20, 2021

Indianapolis Responds To Chauvin Guilty Verdict In George Floyd's Murder

Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis was quiet Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in the hours after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all the counts he faced over the death of George Floyd. - Pria Mahadevan/WFYI News

Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis was quiet Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in the hours after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all the counts he faced over the death of George Floyd.

Pria Mahadevan/WFYI News

Tuesday afternoon former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three counts related to the death of George Floyd.

Floyd's death on Memorial Day 2020 sparked protests in Minneapolis that soon spread across the country and around the world. In Indianapolis and across the state, some protests turned into clashes with police and spanned multiple days.

Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. NPR reported he is being remanded to custody and sentencing is expected in eight weeks.

In Indiana, last year's protests were in response to Floyd’s death but also the the deaths of other Black men in Indiana shot and killed by police officers, such as South Bend’s Eric Logan in 2019 and Indiananapolis’ Dreasjon Reed in May 2020.

The groundswell of attention to local incidents and the national movement led to a Statehouse rally that drew thousands of people demanding police reform and for policy makers to address issues of racial injustice.

On Tuesday evening, as snow and rain swept through Indiana, response to the verdict was mostly limited to social media postings. Downtown Indianapolis, the site of protests last summer, was mostly deserted.

Here is how some local, state and federal officials are responding to the verdict:

U.S. Rep. André Carson (D-Indianapolis)

"The ruling in the Derek Chauvin trial is a clear step toward justice — for the Floyd family and our entire country. However there’s still much more work ahead to reform our criminal justice system. We need to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in order to prevent injustices and senseless loss of life in the future. Let’s continue working together to enact change and honor the memory of all who have lost their lives to police brutality."

 

Indiana Sen. Jean D. Breaux (D-Indianapolis)

“Today's verdict means a lot to the movement to protect Black lives, but there are still reforms we have to make if we want to see significant change. I look forward to working towards that change.”

Indiana Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary)

“While the trial against Derek Chauvin was put on spotlight this month, it does not address or solve the ongoing injustices and problems too many Black men face on a daily occurrence across Indiana. Black men like myself in cities like Gary and Indianapolis are still to this day subjected to a culture where police misconduct against the Black community is never-ending and is on every screen and media space. We are simply unable to remove ourselves from a system that was never created to treat us fairly or justly. Police brutality against Black Hoosiers has always been prevalent in American culture, it’s just that the introduction of body cameras and smartphones finally exposed injustices in real time to millions across the country.” Read the full statement.

Indy10 Black Lives Matter

“As abolitionists, we understand that a conviction does not equate to justice or equity and that the conditions that created the environments for global uprisings to occur are present in our own communities: poverty, neglect by city leadership, and an overzealous police budget.

"Now is the time to commit to abolition fully, and to defund the systems and entities that mass-produce these agents of white supremacy.” 

 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

“We hope the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial will begin to bring healing to our community and address the many factors that we know adversely affect families of color. While justice prevailed in this case, the racial trauma and repeated exposure to stories of violence and inequalities is still an on-going concern.” Read the full statement.

Indy Pride

“We are relieved to see Derek Chauvin convicted of all charges and held accountable for his role in the death of George Floyd.

“We reflect and remember George Floyd, Daunte Wright, and the lives lost at the hands of police brutality. We send love and light to our community members that are deeply affected by this, today and every day.”

 

 

Indiana Pacers

“We remain committed to ending racism and promoting social justice. The events of last May prompted us to change the way we listen to communities who are marginalized and invest our resources to champion equity. We know making sustainable change is difficult, and we will continue to use the unifying power of basketball as a way to bring people together and work through meaningful solutions.”

 

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus

"This historic decision paves the way forward for our country and our criminal justice system. The future is at our feet, we need only be brave enough to step forward.

"Tonight, we exhale, we rest and we remember George Floyd and the others who are not with us today. Their memories will live on in the hearts of all who fought for and loved them. Tomorrow, we continue the fight for justice reform and equality in his name and in the name of all the Black and Brown lives taken from us too soon." Read the full statement

Black Lives Matter South Bend

"We celebrate the jury finding officer Chauvin guilty for the senseless murder of our beloved brother George Floyd. For centuries, Black lives have been taken with impunity. We know the outcome of this trial is due to the fierce uprisings that took place across the world where 26 million people, globally, protested in defense of Black lives."

 

Vop Osili, Marion County City-County Council President

“Over the past year, Americans have stood and loudly stated that we will not simply bear witness to such grave injustices as those suffered by George Floyd and so many before him.

"While today’s verdict can never right the wrongs committed against Mr. Floyd, today the world watched as we held power accountable. We must continue to be vocal and see to it that we fix a broken system that has divided us for too long.”

Eli Lilly

"Addressing systemic racism is a journey, and it will take all of us coming together and doing the hard work to make the world a fairer and more just place. Lilly is committed to racial justice and will continue to push towards lasting change."

 

The jury in the Chauvin trial had been deliberating since Monday afternoon after the closing arguments ended.

Floyd, 46-year-old Black man, died after Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd lay facedown, hands cuffed behind his back.

NPR contributed to this report.

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