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Wisconsin Leaders React To Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdicts

People march through the streets after the verdict was announced for Derek Chauvin on April 20, 2021 in Atlanta, United States.
Megan Varner
Getty Images
People march through the streets after the verdict was announced for Derek Chauvin on April 20, 2021 in Atlanta, United States.

The country watched as a Minneapolis jury announced three guilty verdicts in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd — by kneeling on his neck for more than 9 minutes, set off a firestorm of protest around the world, including Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said justice was served. In Minnesota and the country, but there’s more work to do.

“This is not the conclusion of anything. The fight for racial justice, ... the fight for fair policing, the fight for community involvement has to continue, it will continue,” he said. “Because we continue to see too many people dying at the hands of police officers throughout this nation, and that has to change.”

Barrett said peaceful protest in Milwaukee is essential and that the city is moving forward with a focus on police accountability and changing law enforcement culture.

Acting Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said the trial provided real accountability and a message to law enforcement and the community.

“We need to continue to work on enhancing police and community relations, especially in Black and brown communities. We also need to refocus on training, de-escalation, fair and impartial policing, procedural justice and true police intervention when acts of illegal acts are being committed in our community," he said.

Milwaukee Aldermen Khalif Rainey and Russell Stamper, II wrote in a statement that the jury’s decision was the right one: “Since George Floyd’s death last May one thing has been made incredibly clear – the people have power. Those who marched in the streets made this happen. All those who spoke out about the injustice of police brutality made this happen. Let them and us never return to being silent so we can continue to make lasting change.”

In a statement, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore said her heart goes out to the Floyd family and she hopes that the jury’s decision gives them some comfort. But she said the pursuit of justice and real reform to restore trust between communities and police must continue.

Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin called on her colleagues to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to stop systemic racism and bias in policing.

Maayan Silver is a WUWM news reporter.