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Minnesota governor calls for 'systemic reform' after Chauvin verdict

Minnesota governor calls for 'systemic reform' after Chauvin verdict
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Minnesota Gov. Tim WalzTim WalzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Minnesota governor jokes that residents should 'go get vaccinated so you're alive to vote against me' Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines MORE (D) called for "systemic reform" after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Walz issued a statement shortly after the judge read the jury's verdict Tuesday afternoon. He said the verdict was an “important step forward for justice in Minnesota” but added, “accountability in the courtroom is only the first step.” 

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Floyd died last year after Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes. His death, on top of the police killings of other African Americans, set off nights of protests in Minnesota and across the country.

Walz in his statement called for systemic change to prevent similar deaths from happening, pointing to the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Wright was fatally shot by former Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer Kim Potter last week, setting off nights of protests. Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the killing.

Walz said Wright’s death was a “heartbreaking reminder that we still have so much more work to do to get there.”

“Our communities of color cannot go on like this. Our police officers cannot go on like this. Our state simply cannot go on like this. And the only way it will change is through systemic reform,” Walz said.

“We must rebuild, restore, and reimagine the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We must tackle racial inequalities in every corner of society— from health to home ownership to education,” he continued. “We must come together around our common humanity.”