After hearing that fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all counts for the killing of George Floyd last May, Rep. Ayanna Pressley turned around and embraced her colleague, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri.
A video of the emotional hug shows the two congresswomen holding tightly to one another, crowded in among other members of the Congressional Black Caucus gathered to hear the reading of the jury’s verdict.
Chauvin was charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The jury found him guilty on all three counts.
“The moment we heard the verdict, we held each other,” Bush wrote of the embrace she and Pressley shared. “This feeling is not easy. But all of us will carry each other through this.”
The Massachusetts congresswoman wrote she is grateful for Bush, who she called a “justice seeker” and “sister.”
“There was so much exchanged in this sisterly embrace,” Pressley said. “History. Love. Trauma & Resolve. Our work is not done. We must [continue] fighting & legislating to save Black lives.”
So very grateful this justice seeker is my sister & colleague. There was so much exchanged in this sisterly embrace. History. Love. Trauma & Resolve. Our work is not done. We must contd fighting & legislating to save Black lives. https://t.co/ZMsRoloF9F
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) April 20, 2021
In a statement released later Tuesday, Pressley, who became Massachusetts’s first black woman elected to Congress in 2018, said true justice would see Floyd alive and home with his family:
The truth is that we never expected justice from this trial. We demanded accountability. Today, a jury delivered accountability and Chauvin will face consequences for his actions.
To be clear, the legal system in America remains deeply unjust. No one should die the way George Floyd did. A person’s murder should not have to garner global attention to result in accountability.
We can’t bring George Floyd back, but we can, and we must, legislate to deliver the critical resources our communities need to be freed from the endless loop of trauma we are experiencing daily.
Our communities have been profiled. We have been surveilled. We have been brutalized. We have been murdered. And now we need precise, intentional policies to stop the cycle of trauma and death.
I will continue my work to end qualified immunity, the fundamentally unjust legal doctrine that has allowed so many who commit egregious acts of state-sanctioned violence to evade accountability. I will also continue legislating to dismantle the systems that create the conditions for police brutality and, instead, secure resources for the trauma-informed, community-based solutions our people demand, deserve and require.
Centuries of institutionalized oppression will not be undone without sustained action, and I remain undeterred. I am holding the Floyd family and city of Minneapolis close tonight.”
Below, watch the Congressional Black Caucus react to the verdict:
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