Members of Congress, civil rights leaders and others respond to guilty verdict in George Floyd murder

'This can be a moment of significant change,' US President Joe Biden said

Biden reacts to guilty verdict in Chauvin case

Biden reacts to guilty verdict in Chauvin case
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A number of US officials and civil rights leaders responded to news of a Minneapolis jury finding former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Both US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke from the White House.

"It was a murder in [the] full light of day," Mr Biden said. "And [it] ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism.

"We have to listen: 'I can't breathe. I can't breathe.' Those were George Floyd's last words. We can't let those words die with him," the president added.

"This can be a moment of significant change."

Ms Harris called it a moment where the nation, and the black community in particular, could breathe a "sigh of relief".

"A measure of justice is not the same as equal justice," she clarified. "This verdict brings us a step closer. We still have work to do. We still have to reform the system."

Harris: 'We are all a part of George Floyd's legacy'

Harris: 'We are all a part of George Floyd's legacy'

It was an important moment for Ms Harris, the first woman vice president of colour in US history.

Mr Chauvin was handcuffed and taken into custody with bail revoked after the verdict.

Celebratory gatherings immediately formed in Minneapolis and cities across the country.

Several current and former US politicians shared their reactions to the verdict.

"Today, a jury did the right thing," Barack and Michelle Obama said in a statement.

"Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family in the hopes that they may find peace," Mr Obama wrote. "And we stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied."

Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer shared their thoughts, with some remarks from Ms Pelosi receiving backlash on social media.

"Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice," she said while appearing with the Congressional Black Caucus outside the US Capitol.

"Because of you, and because of thousands – millions – of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice."

Critics pointed out that Floyd hadn't willfully sacrificed himself and that the jury ruled he had been murdered.

Senate Majority Leader Mr Schumer said in a tweet, "America was forever changed by the video of Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd".

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said "black lives matter".

Civil rights leaders, such as Bernice King, the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr, shared their feelings on Tuesday.

Ms King wrote in her first tweet responding to the news, "God knew just how much we could bear. This is a turning point."

The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) called for continued activism after "justice prevailed" in Floyd's murder.

Current NAACP President Derrick Johnson referred to Floyd's daughter Gianna and the black community as a whole.

Stacey Abrams, a voting rights activist in Georgia, sent a short tweet after the verdict.

"The evidence of our eyes met at last by accountability in the eyes of justice," she said.

Police reform campaigners Deray McKesson and Brittany Packnett Cunningham, well known for their protest activism in Ferguson, Missouri, after the 2014 police killing of Mike Brown, posted reactions on Twitter.

The two emphasised that the fight is not over to end systemic racism in the country.

The American Civil Liberties Union added in a post, "True justice would mean George Floyd was never killed in the first place".