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Here’s how the families of Black Americans who died after encounters with police reacted to the Chauvin verdict

elisfkc2 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

In the hours after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder, George Floyd’s family said they could breathe once again.

“Just listening to those words, guilty and guilty and guilty on all counts, that was a moment that I will … always have it inside of me,” Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told CNN. “This is monumental, this is historic, this is a pivotal moment in history.”

And while crowds across the US celebrated the conviction, many reminded the nation there’s a long road ahead for the work on racial justice.

Among them were family members who say they never saw justice after their loved ones died following encounters with police.

Here is what they said.

Elijah McClain’s father

Elijah McClain’s father, LaWayne Mosley, said that while nothing will bring back Floyd or McClain, he was “happy for the family of George Floyd that the officers who killed him have been held accountable.”

McClain, a 23-year-old Black man, died in August 2019, three days after he was stopped by Aurora, Colorado, police, put in a carotid hold, and injected with ketamine. No charges were brought against the officers because, as the district attorney wrote last year, prosecutors lacked evidence to prove the officers caused McClain’s death or that their force was unjustified.

This week, Mosley’s attorney said that while the family was “gratified’ by Tuesday’s outcome, “Colorado prosecutors have not shown the same commitment to holding officers accountable for the murder of civilians.”

“So far, we have not seen any charges against those who murdered Elijah McClain, an innocent young Black man who was walking home minding his own business,” attorney Mari Newman said in a statement. “And, unlike the City of Minneapolis — which acknowledged its own failures by firing the officers who killed George Floyd and providing some remedy to Mr. Floyd’s family — Aurora, Colorado continues to deny accountability for killing Elijah McClain, refuses to fire all of the officers who killed Elijah McClain and failed to intervene to stop the outrageous use of force against him, and has provided no remedy to Elijah’s family.”

Breonna Taylor’s mother

In a Facebook post following the verdict announcement, Breonna Taylor’s mother had a short but powerful message: “Thank you God.”

Taylor, a 26-year-old aspiring nurse, was shot and killed by Louisville officers in her own home during a botched police raid in March 2020.

One of the three officers involved in Taylor’s death was indicted on first-degree wanton endangerment charges. He was not charged with causing her death but for “wantonly and blindly” firing into her apartment. He pleaded not guilty. The other two officers who also fired shots during the raid were not indicted.

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, later on Tuesday posted on Twitter that “this isn’t over.”

“Today justice has been served but we are not (done) fighting for justice for all of the victims and families (who) haven’t received theirs,” she wrote.

Walter Scott’s brother

Anthony Scott, the brother of Walter Scott, said a guilty verdict alone is “not justice.”

“Floyd, Walter, and all the other hashtags, are dead. They are gone. Is that justice?… It’s a sense of justice, but they are dead. We will never be able to bring them back again,” he told CNN affiliate WCIV.

Walter Scott, a 50-year-old Black man, was fatally shot in the back in 2015 by a South Carolina police officer. He was unarmed and running away from the officer after a traffic stop for a broken tail light. A bystander’s cell phone video captured the officer shooting Scott in the back.

In 2017, the officer was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. This week, a federal judge declined his motion to toss out the prison sentence.

“Now, that we are getting the truth that we have been going through forever, and seeing the truth we have been seeing in policing in America, this is nothing new to us. It’s just coming to the light,” Anthony Scott told the affiliate on Tuesday.

And while Chauvin’s conviction will help both Floyd’s family and the country begin to heal, Scott said it “didn’t get the change we need to take place in America.”

CNN Newssource

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