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Community leaders provide comment on Derek Chauvin verdict

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Bakersfield Police Department Chief Greg Terry

The following comments were shared with The Californian following the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin:

“Today we saw a duly empaneled jury, with the full weight of the law, reach a verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin after consideration of all facts and circumstances. As I stated in May of 2020 the murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis was horrific. The actions by the police officers in the video were inexcusable. I have and will continue to unequivocally condemn what they did. The behaviors of those officers does not meet my expectations of any police officer in our country. Police officers have a legal, moral, and ethical obligation to use only proper methods of arrest. We are committed to serving our community with compassion, accountability, and professionalism.”

— Greg Terry, BPD Chief of Police

“Today’s verdict in the George Floyd trial was a necessary step towards progress but not enough to overshadow the ongoing human rights violations that occur due to abuse of power. There is an urgent need for comprehensive police reform in the United States that addresses systemic and individual racism. We understand more deeply than ever the need to listen, learn and empathize in order to find ways to move forward together to build a more just community for all. Derek Chauvin’s conviction is a vindication for the family of George Floyd. However, nothing can restore Mr. Floyd's life or ease the pain of his murder. We know there is still much work to do. As the Chair of the CAC, I speak on behalf of our Council and stand with the community in stating needed change cannot come quickly enough. Fixing this is on all of us. We reaffirm our pledge to be a meaningful part of that work...”

— Arleana Waller, Chair of the Kern County Sheriff Community-wide Advisory Council

"Today’s three guilty verdicts of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd offer us hope that change is possible. While we breathe a collective sigh of relief, the solutions our communities need must be based in collective action and policy. Transformational solutions are rooted in true people power with enactment of social, racial and economic justice policies. It will require civic engagement, advocacy and accountability of our public officials to end systematic racism. Millions across our country and around the world marched in protest to denounce Mr. Floyd’s murder. The marching and non-violent organizing must continue as we grieve the ongoing slayings of Black and Brown people at the hand of the police..."

— The Dolores Huerta Foundation