Maine Officials React To Derek Chauvin's Conviction
Maine officials and social justice advocates are reacting to the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd — a case which helped spark calls for racial justice nationwide.
Alison Beyea, executive director of the ACLU of Maine, said in a statement that the verdict was a "step forward in the fight for police accountability," but went on to say that the "fight for justice by no means ends with this guilty verdict."
Portland City Councilor, Pious Ali, also responded to the verdict, saying that it has "moved the needle on accountability" and called it a "time of reckoning."
Ali is the first African immigrant and Muslim to be elected to public office in Maine.
State and local elected officials responded to Chauvin’s conviction as well.
In a statement, Assistant House Majority leader Rachel Talbot Ross said "it took a global movement to hold Derek Chauvin accountable."
Talbot Ross, the first Black woman to be elected to a party leadership position in the Maine Legislature, went on to describe the verdict as "a relief" but, she wrote, "it is also a reminder of how far we still need to go to achieve racial equity."
Gov. Janet Mills said "the jurors did their job." The governor's statement also said she hopes the verdict "allows us to heal and to become a more compassionate nation, with respect and dignity for all people."
Maine's Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a statement Floyd's killing was "symbolic of a criminal justice system which far too often enables the killing of unarmed black men." Frey's office is responsible for investigating police shootings.