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Gov. Doug Ducey urges Arizonans to react 'peacefully' after Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

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Posted at 3:29 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 01:25:07-04

PHOENIX — Moments after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd, Gov. Doug Ducey urged Arizonans "to react to the news peacefully and respectfully."

"Today’s decision by the jury in Minneapolis brings justice in the death of George Floyd, but across the country & across our state we must remain committed to ensuring something like this never happens again," Gov. Ducey said in a tweet.

A jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter on Tuesday after around 11 hours of deliberation. Sentencing is expected to happen in eight weeks.

Floyd's death, which was captured on video last year, sparked nationwide protests and rallies for police form, including here in Arizona.

Following the verdict, other Arizona leaders and officials shared statements:

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone

“Today, a person empowered to protect and serve was convicted of murder. Today, a disenfranchised community received justice. Unfortunately, that does not restore a lost life. Although law enforcement represents order, we must better represent equality and justice. The diverse and complex community we serve deserves better. We must demand it of ourselves. We must lead with respect and hold ourselves accountable. Today’s verdict was a small step in the right direction. We must continue to move forward.”

Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro

"After a turbulent summer of protests over George Floyd’s murder his family can finally move forward knowing his murderer cannot do this to any other person ever again," BLM's Phoenix chapter wrote in a series of tweets.

"This is not justice. Putting people in cages doesn't bring George Floyd back but it does show that this state-sanctioned violence is starting to have consequences."

"There is still work to do. Now is not the time to stop fighting rather now is the time to fight hard for change! We will not stop until BLACK LIVES MATTER all over the country! Justice will be preventing this from ever happening again."

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

“I hope this trial’s conclusion brings some level of healing and solace to George Floyd’s loved ones, as we continue working toward a future in which all Americans have equal protection under the law," the senator said in a statement.

Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva

“The murder of George Floyd was a horrific crime and stunning display of police brutality that forever changed our nation. After so many miscarriages of justice in the aftermath of senseless police killings, today’s guilty verdict was a long-awaited step in the right direction to holding police officers accountable. Although nothing can bring George Floyd back, I hope this guilty verdict provides some form of comfort to his grieving family. As the trial for the other officers involved in his murder proceeds, I hope that justice will be served once again.

“We must continue to ensure the movement his death inspired lives on in real, long-lasting transformations to policing and reforms to our criminal justice system. Despite this positive verdict, there remains an obvious need not just for police reform and accountability, but for addressing and ending the systemic racism deeply embedded in these systems. I will keep fighting in Congress to make it easier to punish bad police officers and begin the process of dismantling the racist policies that have flourished in police departments across the country. We cannot allow George Floyd’s death to be in vain.”

Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury

"As Americans, as athletes, as business and community leaders, as role models with a platform, and as every day citizens focused on just doing the right things, our work as shepherds of social and racial justice never ends nor does our commitment to being a force for change, fighting injustice while celebrating and embracing diversity."

"The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury will continue to invest in communities of color, listen to leaders in the space of racial justice, and use our organization’s voice and platform in the pursuit of an equal and peaceful society."

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

"My heart remains with George Floyd’s family. Even if today’s verdict brings us closer to justice, they will never get to see their son, father, and partner again. We must continue to honor George’s life by eradicating the injustice, racism, and violence that took it."