Chauvin verdict hailed as 'a step forward,' but still 'not enough'

Good morning, NBC News readers.

From relief to tears of joy, there was an emotional outpouring across the country in response to Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction in the death of George Floyd.

Here’s the latest on the response from the streets of Minneapolis to the White House.

Tears of joy mark ‘a step forward’ in the country’s long march toward racial justice

Julio Cortez / AP

The news that Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts Tuesday for killing George Floyd sparked emotional reactions from the streets of Minneapolis to the White House.

Outside the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, which had been enclosed with razor wire, the crowd erupted into cheers when word of the verdict filtered out.

“All three counts! All three counts!” the crowd chanted as cars honked and people danced on the blocked off streets, some of them waving Black Lives Matter flags and carrying signs that said “Justice for George Floyd.”

But many also cautioned that Chauvin’s conviction was only the beginning of a movement they hoped would lead to widespread police reforms and fewer deaths at the hands of police.

“It doesn’t make up for all the lives lost to police violence,” said Amy Powers, a retired Minneapolis firefighter outside the courthouse. “But it’s a start.”

President Joe Biden called the guilty verdicts “a step forward,” but also said the nation still has to reckon with systemic racism in all walks of life, including policing.

“It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off the whole world to see,” Biden said in an emotional statement from the White House. “Systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul.”

While the president praised the guilty verdicts, he said they are “not enough, we can’t stop here.”

Still for George Floyd’s family, who Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to over the phone Tuesday, there was finally a sense of relief and “tears of joy.”

“Today we are able to breathe again,” Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, said at a press conference surrounded by civil rights activists.

While the final outcome was far from certain during the trial, prosecutors pursued a clear strategy. Here’s what legal analysts and policing experts say they did right.

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One big sigh of relief

Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images

“We Matter.” For many, the news of Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict was a moment of emotional catharsis. See images here of some of the cheers, tears and hugs seen across the nation here.

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Thanks, Petra Cahill