Hollywood responds to guilty verdict of George Floyd’s killer Derek Chauvin

Keiran Southern
·5-min read

Watch: People from Houston's Third Ward, where Floyd grew up, react to murderer's conviction

Stars including Mariah Carey, Chris Evans and Kerry Washington have welcomed a guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin, the former police officer accused of killing George Floyd.

Chauvin, 45, was convicted of murder and manslaughter after pinning Floyd, 46, to the ground with his knee in Minneapolis last year.

The incident was caught on camera and the harrowing video triggered a racial justice movement across the US that quickly spread to the rest of the world.

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After Chauvin was found guilty on all charges – second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – on Tuesday, Hollywood figures were among those welcoming the verdict, while also warning more work was needed to fight racism.

Chart-topping singer Carey tweeted “Hallelujah!!!!!!!!” in response to the news, before adding: “A beginning.. a small grain of hope for our future.”

Evans, an actor best known for playing Captain America in the Marvel films, said: “Justice. Sending love to George Floyd’s family and friends.”

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Scandal actor Washington wrote: “A guilty #verdict. But this fight for justice is not over. We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us. But RIGHT NOW please take CARE of yourself. And let’s take care of each other. Prayers and love to the family of #GeorgeFloyd.”

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most prominent black women in America, said she was brought to tears by the verdict.

She wrote on Instagram: “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 said she was “grateful to Darnella Frazier”, the teenager who filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd.

She added: “Grateful to every Juror for seeing and acknowledging what the world saw on that tape. Thank you God for real! #GeorgeFloyd.”

Barack and Michelle Obama issued a statement welcoming the verdict, but warning America’s problem with race is far from solved.

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They said: “True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. It requires us to recognise that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last.

“And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.”

Euphoria actress Zendaya posted a picture of Floyd to her Instagram.

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Singer Justin Timberlake said the verdict represented “the first step in a long line of injustice against the Black community, often with no consequences”.

He added: “The work is not nearly done. While there are many more families waiting for justice, my heart is with George Floyd’s family right now.”

British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton also shared his reaction, describing the verdict as “monumental”.

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He added: “But this is just one step on the path towards a more equal society. Since George’s death, so many other Black people have died at the hands of the police and we must ensure the momentum of today continues. The fight isn’t over, and there is more to be done.”

Pop star Mandy Moore also said she was praying for Floyd’s family. She tweeted: “Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Thank god. Thank you to the jurors for doing their job and helping to enact some semblance of justice in this case.”

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Hawaii Five-0 actor Daniel Dae Kim, who has been widely praised for his work condemning a spike in violence against the Asian community in the US, said: “Today is a day we will all remember. Prayers for George Floyd and his family.”

Poet Amanda Gorman, who rose to international attention following her address during Joe Biden’s inauguration, said: “A reminder that victory would be George Floyd being alive. Every day Black Americans worry if they will be next is another day without justice.”

Singer-songwriter Finneas, the brother of Billie Eilish, said: “Rest in Peace George Floyd.”

And Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan tweeted: “Thank God. #BlackLivesMatter.”

Watch: Band Plays at George Floyd Memorial Site After Guilty Verdict