Protesters at Monsignor del Valle Square in Hunts Point rally to remember George Floyd. Photo: Dariella Rodriguez

Local politicians react to Chauvin conviction

Politicians across the Bronx flocked to social media this week to laud the conviction of police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd and also convey that more needs to be done to achieve racial justice.

On her Twitter account, state Assembly member Amanda Septimo said, “Justice for George Floyd would be the freedom to live and to prosper. Accountability is a critical first step…but we have many, many more steps to go on the road to justice. Wishing everyone, especially George Floyd’s loved ones, peace in this complicated moment.”

Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee on the neck of the unarmed and restrained Black man in May 2020, was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of man slaughter.

After George Floyd’s death, protests both peaceful and violent erupted across the U.S. throughout the summer. Here in south Bronx, one peaceful protest ended with city police kettling protestors down a narrow street in Mott Haven.  More than 250 demonstrators were charged with violating a city-imposed curfew.

The trial was closely watched by many members of the Bronx community, and the conviction brought a sense of relief to many.

City Council member Rafael Salamanca Jr. tweeted, “Recent news events have shown that we must continue to march and use our voices to demand accountability, to send a clear message that #BlackLivesMatter  today, tomorrow, and always.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. tweeted, “The decision that former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will be held accountable for his actions is the right one, however, Mr. Chauvin must now also receive the highest possible sentence for his heinous crime.”

City Council member Diana Ayala didn’t post anything personally, but she did retweet two posts calling for racial equity in the justice system.

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