The United Nations human rights chief says the court ruling against the White police officer who killed George Floyd is a “momentous” step towards eradicating systemic racism against African Americans.
A 12-member jury ruled Wednesday that Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was guilty of all three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for killing Floyd in May 2020.
The ruling, which came after three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, is viewed as a historical milestone and a rebuke of the way the police treats African Americans. The ruling means that Chauvin, 45, could face 40 years in prison.
“As the jury recognized, the evidence in this case was crystal clear,” said Michelle Bachelet. “Any other result would have been a travesty of justice.”
She said the sentence should pave the way for more cases of this kind to be brought into court in order to put an end to the police killings of unarmed black men and women.
“This case has also helped reveal, perhaps more clearly than ever before, how much remains to be done to reverse the tide of systemic racism that permeates the lives of people of African descent,” the U.N. rights chief argued.
Tge ruling comes amid days-long protests in Minneapolis following the shooting death of Daunte Wright, a black man who died after a police officers shot him dead during a routine g traffic stop on April 11. Police insist that the female officer wanted to use a taser but took her gun out instead.
Wright was killed just a few miles from where Chauvin stood trial.
“As we have painfully witnessed in recent days and weeks, reforms to policing departments across the U.S. continue to be insufficient to stop people of African descent from being killed,” Bachelet said.