Senator Bradford Responds to Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict

April 20, 2021




Senator Bradford Responds to Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict



SACRAMENTO – Today, a verdict was announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of the unlawful killing of George Floyd during an arrest on May 25, 2020. Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He was found guilty on all counts. Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) released the following statement in response:

“Almost one year ago California leaders gathered to kneel at the capitol steps in silence, honor and respect for George Floyd’s life,” said Senator Steven Bradford. “This verdict is bittersweet, because he would be alive today if not for the color of his skin. Mr. Chauvin is certainly guilty on all counts, but how many other officers continue to trample on the lives and rights of people in this country and remain in power? Without that 9 minute and 29 second video, America would have us all believe we did not witness something that happens to African Americans on a regular basis throughout this country. We cannot ignore the role that race played in this case. Mr. Floyd’s death was nothing but a modern-day lynching. Police officers are not supposed to be executioners. Today’s verdict is far from justice, but it’s a huge step in the right direction. Now we must make sure that the sentencing matches the crime. If California is serious about protecting the lives of people of color then we have to acknowledge the racist blind spot in America and hold police officers accountable. Change must come to policing in our state. As Chair of Legislative Black Caucus and Senate Public Safety Committee, I am committed to continuing the push for legislation that does just that.”

Mr. Floyd was killed during an arrest where the officer knelt on his neck and back for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds, ignoring cries that he could not breathe, while other officers did nothing. Four officers involved in the arrest have also been charged with counts of second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Officer Derek Chauvin’s trial began on March 8, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since testimony began on March 29, at least 64 people have died at the hands of law enforcement nationwide, with Black and Latino people representing more than half of the dead.

Senator Bradford is the author of Senate Bill 2, which would create a statewide decertification process to revoke the certification of a peace officer following the conviction of serious crimes or termination from employment due to misconduct. It is one of the biggest pieces of police reform bills being considered by California in the last decade.

“These changes are of vital importance to increase police accountability and restore community trust in law enforcement,” continued Bradford. “If they’re held accountable, we can ensure that these bad officers will not take this misconduct to another department and another community.”

SB 2 is sponsored by a coalition of community organizations including: Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU of California, Anti-Police-Terror Project, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, California Families United 4 Justice, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, PolicyLink, STOP Coalition, and Youth Justice Coalition.



Senator Bradford is Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety and represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.