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Colorado leaders on Tuesday weighed in on a Minneapolis jury finding former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts in the murder of George Floyd last summer — a high-profile, videotaped police killing that triggered racial-justice protests around the world, including in Vail and throughout Colorado.
Here’s a statement from former Denver mayor, Colorado governor now U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper:
“Today’s verdict was clear. While we welcome this verdict, let’s remember that no sentence will ever bring George Floyd back to his family. No sentence can erase the trauma that his family has endured. Black Americans deserve a world in which their lives aren’t threatened by the very people sworn to protect them. We must reform a broken system that continues to allow these tragedies to happen.”
And here’s a statement from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser:
“Today’s verdict in the George Floyd murder case represents our justice system working effectively with a jury considering the evidence and performing its duty. But it is not the end. We must continue each day to pursue justice for all and build trust between communities and law enforcement.
“While nothing can bring George Floyd back to his family, today’s verdict shows that we can hold bad actors accountable when they violate the law, move forward together as a nation, and deliver justice for all.
“Today is a somber day. This is not an end, but a beginning. The work must continue to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and to hold accountable those who break that trust. With today’s verdict, I am encouraged we can do just that.”
Here’s a statement from Colorado Senate members of the Black Caucus, which is comprised of Sen. James Coleman (D-Denver), Sen. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), and Sen. Janet Buckner (D-Aurora):
“For centuries, the abuse and murder of Black people at the hands of law enforcement have gone unpunished, but today justice was served – allowing the excruciating pain in our chests to subside. We can finally breathe. Until now there has been virtually no precedent for a police officer to be found guilty on all charges, making this an utterly historic day. But while this decision may be groundbreaking it will not bring George Floyd back to his family, his life is forever lost. All we can hope for now is that the magnitude of his death will lead to meaningful, lasting change. Change that will transform the way in which we hold perpetrators accountable, enshrine systemic protection of Black lives, and put us on a path towards ending the scourge of racism in this country once and for all.”
Here’s a statement from Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet:
“No jury’s decision can return George Floyd to the safety of his family’s arms. No single verdict can demolish the structural racism that still plagues our country. But today, the jury reached the right conclusion. Tomorrow, we have to continue the work to ensure that every American, no matter their race, can live in safety with equal protection under the law. The Senate should pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”
Here’s a statement from current Colorado Gov. Jared Polis:
“Less than a year ago, the world watched in horror as George Floyd’s life was taken from him. In the days and weeks following his tragic murder, millions of Americans took to the streets to make their voices heard, saying enough is enough. Today, we see a glimmer of hope, a glimpse of justice, but we know we are nowhere near the end of this road. This verdict does not bring back George Floyd. True justice would mean having him here with us today. Let us acknowledge this victory and use this inflection point to bend the arc of social equality toward lasting justice so this doesn’t happen again. My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd, who have been forced to relive this tragedy far too many times, and to the families of countless other Black Americans who have been forced to say goodbye too soon.”