NEW YORK - The guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin in the death of George Floyd prompted intense reactions from everyone from the president and vice president to civil rights leaders around the county and activists in New York.
"No one should be above the law and today's verdict sends that message," President Joe Biden said. "But it's not enough."
Biden delivered his public remarks after he made a personal phone call to Floyd's family.
Vice President Kamala Harris joined the president in calling on Congress to do more to mend the rift between police departments and communities of color. Harris wants lawmakers to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
"This bill would hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities," Harris said.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is a co-sponsor of the police reform legislation.
"The trial held someone accountable for doing horrific things but one trial in one case is not enough," Booker said. "My heart is with George Floyd's family — they don't have George Floyd, this is not justice for them. It's accountability but not justice."
The case is an emotional tipping point for those demanding an end to racial injustice. The verdict is giving many people new hope that now may be the moment for real change.
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Thousands of people converged on several cities across the country in anticipation of the verdicts. Many said they were ready to protest if a jury had acquitted Chauvin.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn in solidarity to remember Floyd and said they were thankful that justice was finally served. They were ready to protest but instead had a subdued celebration.
Despite a large police presence, the gathering at the unofficial home base for protesters last summer was peaceful for most of the time. A separate protest had a few dozen people marching through the streets of Brooklyn calling for more police reform. Many say that much more needs to be done. The vice president is among those who agree on that.
"Here's the truth about racial injustice. It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem," Harris said. "It is a problem for every American."