ABC’s Sunny Hostin delivered one of the more powerful reactions on live television following news of Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the murder of George Floyd.
On Tuesday, Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter stemming from Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. Hostin joined the network’s live coverage where she spoke about what a guilty verdict means for her community and for her, a mother of a Black son.
“I’ve been a lawyer for 27 years,” The View co-host began, recalling how she watched four officers get acquitted in the beating Rodney King in 1992. “I believed my eyes then, so I believed my eyes this time with George Floyd.”
Hostin, 52, continued, “Even though I knew that fast verdicts always hint at an agreement [among jurors] … because of the history in this country, because it is so rare that police officers are convicted, because Black men and Black boys are killed by police with impunity in this country, and that is just the truth, at a rate five times more than their white counterparts, because I am the mother of an 18-year-old boy who is now in South Africa, and I feel that he is safer in South Africa than he is in his own country, I am so relieved that this is what justice finally looks like for my community.”
Tears welling up, the attorney remarked how the protests that erupted after Floyd’s killing are a “movement,” not a “moment.”
“While I know that this does not bring George Floyd back to his family, to his loved ones … at least I believe now that the movement that we’ve seen since his murder on video for the world to see is not just a moment,” she added. “I really believe that this is a movement that we’ve seen. And for that, I am so, so very thankful that perhaps we will see real change, much-needed change, in this country.”
CNN’s Don Lemon and Van Jones also got emotional while discussing what Chauvin’s conviction means for the Black community. While Lemon noted “there’s a lot more to be done,” he said this is a big first step when it comes to police accountability.
“Police officers around the country are going to have to do things. They’re going to have to hold their fellow officers accountable. There were other officers involved in this particular incident, and in that moment, they did not, it doesn’t seem they held their fellow officers accountable,” Lemon said. “Yes, it’s incumbent upon the citizens to hold these police officers accountable. But it’s going to be incumbent upon the organizations and the fellow officers who are there every day with those officers who are not doing the right thing to hold them accountable.”
Jones praised Darnella Frazier, who was only 17 when she filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, sparking protests around the country.
“Because of that young woman and because of the video, 20 million white Americans marched,” he exclaimed. “There were Black Lives Matter marches in Idaho where there’s no Black people. That gives you a sense of how humanity’s heart was touched.”
Social media erupted following the guilty verdict with Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx, Whoopi Goldberg and many more commenting on the “bittersweet moment.”
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