Obamas call for action after Chauvin verdict: ‘We cannot rest’

Former First Couple Barack and Michelle Obama said Tuesday that "true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial."

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Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama declared that “we cannot rest” following the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin Tuesday. 

In a statement signed by both he and his wife, they wrote: “For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world — inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?” 

Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama declared “we cannot rest” following the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin Tuesday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial,” they said. 

“True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day,” the Obamas continue. “It requires us to recognize 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.” 

Read More: Darnella Frazier says she ‘cried so hard’ at Chauvin verdict

The former First Couple added that the verdict was a “necessary step on the road to progress.” However, it was far from a sufficient one. 

“We cannot rest,” said the Obamas. “We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system. We will need to redouble efforts to expand economic opportunity for those communities that have been too long marginalized.”

Congress will soon vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would prohibit racial and religious profiling, ban chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants, all of which are disproportionately used against Black people. 

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