UPDATE (4/20/21, 7:55 p.m. ET): As celebrities flooded social media with reactions to Derek Chauvin‘s guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd, U.S. President Joe Biden addressed the nation in a formal speech. You can watch it in full below; towards the beginning of his speech, Biden told viewers, “It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see. The systemic racism, the vice president just referred to, the systemic racism that is a stain on our nation’s soul. The knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans. The profound fear and trauma. The pain, the exhaustion, that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.”
"It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 20, 2021
ORIGINAL: Stars like Mariah Carey and Jada Pinkett-Smith are speaking out after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. The jury announced the verdict on April 20, and the terminated Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of all three of his charges: second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Immediately after the verdict was announced, Ciara was one of the first celebrities to celebrate the verdict with a tweet that read, “Thank you Jesus! I’m in tears. May your legacy live on forever #GeorgeFloyd.”
Thank you Jesus! I’m in tears. May your legacy live on forever #GeorgeFloyd. 🙏🏽❤️
— Ciara (@ciara) April 20, 2021
Mariah Carey joined the online celebration by tweeting, “Hallelujah!!!!!!!!” Meanwhile, Jada Pinkett Smith tweeted, “Come thru Justice!” Alyssa Milano also took to social media to tweet, “FOUND GUILTY ON ALL THREE CHARGES. Rest In Peace, George Floyd. You have changed the world. #verdict.” Magic Johnson shared this relief over the guilty verdict; the NBA legend tweeted, “Thank God…guilty! Justice has been served!!”
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) April 20, 2021
Thank God…guilty! Justice has been served!!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 20, 2021
Even more celebrities reacted to the verdict. Captain America star Chris Evans tweeted, “Justice. Sending love to George Floyd’s family and friends,” while pop star Katy Perry posted, “rest in JUSTICE George Floyd.” The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Garcelle Beauvais also shared a message about justice on her Instagram page: “Justice for Black America is justice for All America.” Beyoncé‘s mother, Tina Knowles, wrote about justice as well in an Instagram message: “Justice is served! All three counts!!! Praise the Lord!!! Just the Beginning!!! If bad Police faced jail for killing unarmed people , or breaking the law and abusing people they would not do these things. I am not saying under any circumstance that there are not police officers that really try to protect and serve . And I must say that the police that told the truth in this trial and did not protect Derick Chauvin . I commend them and pray that it is the beginning of change.”
Justice. Sending love to George Floyd’s family and friends.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 20, 2021
Talk show personalities also made sure to chime in. The Talk host Elaine Welteroth tweeted, “GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES #ChauvinTrial,” while The View host Meghan McCain wrote, “May justice heal our nation.”
Politicians also joined the conversation on Twitter after the verdict was announced. Former First Lady Hillary Clinton tweeted, “George Floyd’s family and community deserved for his killer to be held accountable. Today, they got that accountability. Always and forever, Black lives matter.” Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama issued a joint statement in response to the verdict (which you can read below), including a tweet from Obama that read, “Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.” And Kamala Harris‘s niece, Ambitious Girl author Meena Harris, tweeted, “Rest in power, George Floyd.”
Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
While the verdict was celebrated, stars also reminded people of the grim reality the country faces as the fight against systematic racism continues. Renown poet Amanda Gorman, who recited a poem at Joe Biden‘s inauguration, tweeted, “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.” Orange is the New Black star Danielle Brooks also called attention to this ongoing fight by posting an Instagram message that read, “One small step in the right direction. Thank you jurors for doing the right thing. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
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.
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) April 20, 2021
As the day went on, more stars reacted to the verdict on social media like Bella Hadid, who shared a beautiful throwback photo of George with his daughter Gianna, who is now seven years old. “Rest In Peace George Floyd. Thank God for justice and accountability today,” the model wrote alongside the picture. Demi Lovato shared the same photo along with more pictures of George throughout his lifetime, and reposted the same important message that the Instagram advocacy account @justiceforgeorgenyc shared (you can read it below).
With the verdict now out, comedian Amy Schumer shared a post advising fans can do next: demand for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to pass, a bill that “includes measures to “increase accountability for law enforcement misconduct, to enhance transparency and data collection, and to eliminate discriminatory policing practices,” per Congress’s website. Amy also gave a shout-out to the mother of DJ Henry, a Black man who was only 20 years old when he was shot by a white police officer (Aaron Hess) in 2010. However, unlike today’s verdict, the grand jury did not indict the police officer after DJ’s death. “Thinking of all the mamas. Especially @angellahenry12,” Amy wrote on Instagram.
Chauvin was convicted on April 20 after a lengthy trial and deliberation by the jury. The verdict comes almost a year since Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Chauvin’s custody, died after the police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck for nearly 10 minutes. The prosecution argued for weeks that Chauvin’s actions on May 25, 2020, were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death. Defense told a very different story, dragging Floyd’s character and insisting that his death could be attributed to different reasons, including a heart condition.However, Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist and expert in the science of breathing, told the court that Floyd’s cause of death was due to a lack of oxygen. “A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died,” Tobin told jurors. Prosecutors played bystanders’ footage of the final moments of Floyd’s life, showing him begging Chauvin to get off his neck, clearly saying, “I can’t breathe” and calling out for his mother.
Despite knowing that Floyd, 46, couldn’t breathe, Chauvin ignored bystanders’ pleas to release him and didn’t relent until he fell unconscious. George Floyd died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.