The US has reacted after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd
President Joe Biden welcomed the verdict, calling Chauvin’s conviction a “giant step forward” for the nation against systemic racism, while Vice President Kamala Harris said: "This is a day of justice."
Barack and Michelle Obama issued a statement celebrating the guilty verdict but warning that America’s racism problem was far from solved.
And Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey, two of the most prominent black women in the US, led Holywood’s response to the verdict.
White officer Chauvin, 45, pinned Mr Floyd, 46, to the pavement with his knee on the black man’s neck in the city last May.
The ex-policeman could now be sent to prison for decades after a jury, made up of six white and six black or multiracial people, came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days.
Chauvin was found guilty on all charges - second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
‘We’re all so relieved’
As celebrations broke out in Minneapolis and elsewhere in the US, President Biden, said of the verdict: “We’re all so relieved.”
He and Ms Harris called Mr Floyd's family after Chauvin was convicted. Asked by a family member how he was doing, Mr Biden said: "Feeling better now. Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice."
Barack and Michelle Obama said work was still to be done to reach “true justice”.
Their statement read: “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.”
Beyonce, in a statement shared on her website alongside a childhood picture of Floyd sleeping in his mother’s arms, said: “After too many years of misguided justice, today is a good day.
“I encourage all of us to continue to pray for George Floyd’s family and for all the families who seek justice for their loved ones who are victims of too many years of inequalities.”
Winfrey said she was brought to tears when the verdict was read.
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.”
‘Victory would be George Floyd alive’
And 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.”
Chart-topping singer Mariah Carey tweeted “Hallelujah!!!!!!!!” in response to the news, before adding: “A beginning.. a small grain of hope for our future.”
Chris Evans, an actor best known for playing Captain America in the Marvel films, said: “Justice. Sending love to George Floyd’s family and friends.”
Scandal actor Kerry 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.”
Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis shared a painting of Floyd and said: “GUILTY!!!! As it should be!! Now….Rest In Peace George Floyd. Rest. You and your family have been vindicated.”