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World reacts to guilty verdict in death of George Floyd

  • Published at 03:27 pm April 21st, 2021
George Floyd Murder Verdict
People celebrate at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, after the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021 AFP

World Leaders have welcomed the verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin

Foreign leaders and media outlets began to react on Tuesday evening to former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's conviction on three counts in the death of George Floyd, a case that sparked an international reckoning and has grasped the attention of observers around the world.

Chauvin, who is White, was found guilty on Tuesday of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Floyd, a Black man he pinned down outside a grocery store last year.

A teenage witness filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes in a video that was viewed by millions of people globally, sparking outrage and street protests for racial justice. The footage would later become a key piece of evidence in the trial.

Also Read: Floyd's family members celebrate verdict, vow to fight on for racial justice

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted Tuesday in favour of the conviction.

"I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict," he wrote.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that he was thinking of Floyd's loved ones. "I welcome the verdict but by itself this won't heal the pain of their loss, which reverberated around the world," he wrote. "The guilty verdict must be the beginning of real change - not the end."

David Lammy, a Labour lawmaker in Britain, tweeted: "No judgement can ever make up for murder, but it means everything that justice has been served tonight for George Floyd. 

Let this send a clear message both in the USA and across the world: #BlackLivesMatter."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview on Real Talk Ryan Jespersen on Tuesday evening that "it is good news that we saw the verdict come through where people hoped it would."

Also Read: Biden calls Chauvin verdict a 'giant step' toward justice in the US

"But it still underlines that there's an awful lot of work to do," he said.

Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter that a single verdict "won't eradicate the systemic racism embedded within our institutions. But, in the memory of George Floyd, it is one small step in the right direction."

Foreign news outlets featured prominent coverage of the verdict on their websites, with Australian Broadcasting Corp running live coverage and French newspaper Le Monde featuring its news story at the top of its website.

Floyd's killing proved to be a moment of reckoning not only in the United States but across the world, as protesters took to the streets calling for justice in his case and pointing to what they saw as parallels in their own communities.