After months of protests and a long overdue racial reckoning in the U.S., Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, has been found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
Chauvin was convicted on all charges. He was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. His sentencing will take place eight weeks from now.
The highly anticipated verdict, which was reached after several hours of deliberation, comes after Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed Black man, was killed on May 25, 2020, when Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes during an arrest and a video taken of the incident showed Floyd telling the officer he was unable to breathe. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Four officers who were involved in Floyd’s death were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Floyd died as a result of Chauvin’s knee, while defense contended that Floyd’s heart condition and alleged use of drugs caused his death. Chauvin had pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd’s death sparked national outrage, making activists out of everyday citizens and sparking a major wave of action across the fashion industry.
Nike took a clear stance at the time, sharing on social media: “For once, don’t do it. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us,” the text of a black and white video read. “Don’t make any more excuses. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you. Don’t sit back and be silent. Don’t think you can’t be part of the change. Let’s all be part of the change.”
Nearly every major company spoke out in solidarity with Black people by condemning racism in all forms. The urgency in action continued as Nordstrom and Macy’s and other retailers made public promises to make significant room on their shelves for Black-owned business — with the latter becoming the largest retailer to sign Aurora James’ 15 Percent Pledge. Since then, countless companies have made commitments around social justice and now the conversation has shifted to the ways companies can achieve meaningful long-term change.
With the verdict setting in, the fashion industry is once again sharing emotional reactions.
James took to Instagram to share a graphic that reads, “Rest in power, George Floyd.” In the caption of her post, James shared the quote: “So say you one, so say you all.”
Katy Perry echoed similar sentiments simply tweeting, “rest in JUSTICE George Floyd.” Ellen DeGeneres wrote, “Justice.”
Kenneth Cole shared the words of Martin Luther King Jr., tweeting, “‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.'”
Zendaya posted a touching photo of Floyd with his daughter. Adidas shared: “Black Lives Matter” while Teresa Baker, founder of Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, posted a graphic that read “Exhale!” as many Americans are feeling a small bit of relief.
A Ma Maniére also shared a graphic, which read “Justice Served.”
rest in JUSTICE George Floyd ♥️
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) April 20, 2021
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 20, 2021
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” -MLK #ChauvinTrial
— Kenneth Cole (@kennethcolereal) April 20, 2021