ATLANTA — Dozens of people around the country are reacting to the news of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.
Atlanta filmmaker Will Packer ("Girls Trip," "Think Like A Man") went to social media following the breaking news update under the hashtag #RIPGEORGEFLOYD.
“The fact that there was even a question what the outcome would be. The fact that I released I was holding my breath as I watched the verdict with my family. The fact that Black people have been saying this has been happening for years but without video (and sometimes with it) it’s fallen on deaf ears. It’s all exhausting. Exhausting. But for a brief moment right now…We can exhale. Onward,” Packer wrote.
Bernice King, the daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., went to Twitter to express her thoughts on the news. She recanted her father’s message of nonviolence and social justice.
“Derek Chauvin took George Floyd’s breath, but we will not let this moment, nor the verdict, take our breath, but we willl not let this moment, take our breath. Before you make a move after the verdict, take a moment to breathe for George,” a message from The King Center stated. “Breathe nonviolently for Black and brown lives to be free from Systemic Racism and Dehumanization.”
Ava DuVernay, director of the upcoming HBO Max series “DMZ,” which was filmed in Atlanta wrote “3!” with a fist emoji, acknowledging the jury’s verdict of the three charges:
Oprah Winfrey, who has a soundstage dedicated in her honor at the world-famous Tyler Perry Studios, said she is relieved.
“Relieved—and emotional in ways I didn’t expect. I cried tears of joy as each verdict was read. I’m grateful to the witnesses and their testimonies,” Winfrey wrote.
Floyd’s death last year sparked global protests over systemic racism and police brutality. In the Twin Cities metro, it also led to widespread rioting and many burned and damaged businesses. This year ahead of the trial, local, state and federal law enforcement created a coalition called Operation Safety Net to manage the potential civil unrest. George Floyd’s family won a record civil settlement from the city of Minneapolis while the trial was ongoing: $27 million, surpassing the $20 million awarded to the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.