U.S. Vice President Kamala D. Harris on Tuesday reacted to the conviction of Derek Chauvin who was found guilty of murder in the killing George Floyd, saying, “Today, we feel a sigh of relief. Still, it cannot take away the pain.” Harris spoke from the White House. Below are her full remarks.
Good evening. First, I want to thank the jury for their service, and I want to thank Mr. Floyd’s family for your steadfastness.
Today, we feel a sigh of relief. Still, it cannot take away the pain. A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer. And, the fact is, we still have work to do.
We still must reform the system. Last summer, together with Senator Cory Booker and Representative Karen Bass, I introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This bill would hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities. This bill is part of George Floyd’s legacy.
The President and I will continue to urge the Senate to pass this legislation — not as a panacea for every problem, but as a start.
This work is long overdue. America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans — and Black men, in particular — have been treated, throughout the course of our history, as less than human.
Black men are fathers and brothers and sons and uncles and grandfathers and friends and neighbors. Their lives must be valued in our education system, in our healthcare system, in our housing system, in our economic system, in our criminal justice system, in our nation. Full stop.
Because of smartphones, so many Americans have now seen the racial injustice that Black Americans have known for generations — the racial injustice that we have fought for generations; that my parents protested in the 1960s; that millions of us, Americans of every race, protested last summer.
Here’s the truth about racial injustice: It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all, and it is holding our nation back from realizing our full potential.
We are all a part of George Floyd’s legacy, and our job now is to honor it and to honor him.
And now, it is my great honor to introduce the President of the United States, Joe Biden.