Los Angeles city officials, attorneys and city council members aired their thoughts in response to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdicts.
A former Minneapolis police officer, Chauvin was found guilty on three counts of murder after kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for more than 9 minutes last year.
“Justice has been served,” said Gil Cedillo, District 1 city councilmember. “I am hopeful that this will demonstrate that no one is above the law. May George Floyd rest in peace, and others who were victims of police misconduct but where justice did not prevail. His murder was the catalyst that led to a broad national consensus that Black lives matter.”
Cedillo stressed honesty, discipline and transparency, saying, “Now is the time to continue building a strong movement for social justice as the living legacy of George Floyd.”
LA County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Hilda L. Solis addressed the possibility for riots and protests in response to the verdict.
“For those who will be out in the streets participating in unity and solidarity rallies and protests to fight for continued accountability of law enforcement, I ask that we do so safely and that we do not engage in negative activities,” Solis said. “We want to maintain and uplift the message of justice for George’s family and not steer away from it with distractions.”
Solis aimed comments at the LAPD, asking for the First Amendment right of free speech to be upheld as citizens expressed their views.
“I also will ask the LA Sheriff’s Department personnel, who will be out on the streets in LA County, to not engage in activities that will unnecessarily agitate those exercising their First Amendment rights,” Solis said. “We need to respect the rights of all Angelenos to protest and rally, including allowing members of the press to do their jobs in being a source of information for all of us.”
The political and social movement Black Lives Matter helped to create the Defund the Police campaign in response to what seemed like increased police brutality. Movement members said police funding should be reallocated to community policing and organizations that support racial equality.
“Today, we let out a collective sigh that for George Floyd, and his family and supporters, the man who killed their loved one is going to be held accountable,” Solis said. “This does not deflect from the terrible fact that we have so many more people who were taken from their families by law enforcement, like Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and those here in LA County.”
LA City Attorney Mike Feuer commented on the verdict during a press conference, reminding the public on its right to peacefully protest.
“If you choose to participate in a peaceful protest, it is not only your right to do so, but it is our collective obligation to facilitate that right,” Feuer said. “I am committed to achieving full social and economic equality for every single Angeleno.”
Feuer quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when opening his talk.
“The arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, Dr. Martin Luther King tells us,” Feuer said. “I ask that all of us join together in a commitment of activism. The fight for civil rights, social justice and to erase inequality, that fight has taken painfully long. Today, we are here to talk about galvanizing moments in that fight.”