The View’s Sunny Hostin became emotional on-air while reacting to the verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.
Through tears, the ABC News host explained that she was “so relieved” by the decision. “This is what justice finally looks like for my community,” she said.
Hostin added: “And while I know that this does not bring George Floyd back to his family, to his loved ones, to his brother... at least I believe now that the movement that we’ve seen ... is not just a moment.”
Hostin, who is also a senior legal correspondent for ABC News, said that she was anxious about a guilty verdict “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”.
"I’ve been a lawyer for 27 years, and I remember when I was in law school during my first year, the Rodney King verdict came out and it was an acquittal for four officers who – on video – beat and stomped and tased a man, beat a man 56 times with a baton,” she said.
A host of Television news anchors shared their feelings around the verdict for the former Minneapolis police officer. “8 minutes 46 seconds a life gone forever, today justice #Georgefloyd finally,” wrote ABC’s Tamron Hall on Twitter.
Likewise, when Chauvin was placed in handcuffs and led out of the courtroom, CNN’s Van Jones said, “That is what justice looks like.”
After the verdict was announced, Jones joined his CNN colleagues for a panel discussion, where he pointed out how important it is for police officers to speak up.
"It's important to understand ... the police chief fired [Chauvin] and testified against him. There were people throughout the profession of law enforcement who came forward and did the right thing for once and they all still have their jobs. More cops can speak up. More police chiefs can speak up. And more people can do the right thing in these situations."
Co-anchor Don Lemon agreed, adding that bystanders filming George Floyd in his final moments “didn’t know their power then, but they certainly know their power now”.
Meanwhile, MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee posted on Twitter: “Derek Chauvin – Guilty on all counts. America can call Derek Chauvin what many have long believed. Murderer.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper also quote-tweeted reporter Nathan McDermott’s tweet with the word “precisely”.
“It’s hard to imagine we’d have this verdict if not for Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old girl who took out her cell phone and recorded Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd,” wrote McDermott.
“What would have happened had there not been video?” Tapper also wondered, retweeting the Minneapolis Police Department’s initial statement about the murder of George Floyd.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of Mr Floyd on 25 May, 2020 – after he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
President Joe Biden cancelled scheduled events to watch the verdict from the West Wing after saying that the evidence was “overwhelming” and he was “praying” for the right decision.
Despite the decision, trial judge Peter Cahill previously said comments from Democrat congresswoman Maxine Waters could see the whole trial overturned on appeal. She had encouraged protesters to get “more confrontational” if Mr Chauvin was not found guilty.
Following weeks of testimony from both sides, the prosecution and defence ended their closing arguments on Monday, with Prosecutor Steve Schleicher urging jurors to “believe your eyes” as defence attorney Eric Nelson said that the state failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Chauvin murdered Mr Floyd.
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