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
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.
Wednesday’s top stories
The Trump administration awarded a firm $1.3 billion to make Covid vaccine syringes. Where are the syringes?
A year after a Connecticut company was awarded almost $1.3 billion in federal loans and contracts to supply an essential syringe for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, no syringes have been made. The syringe hasn’t received even the first of a series of approvals it needs from the federal government before it can be manufactured, and a factory promising 650 jobs remains unbuilt. By Andrew W. Lehren and Laura Strickler | Read more
Queen marks 95th birthday in private days after Prince Philip’s funeral
Days after the funeral of her husband of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II turned 95 on Wednesday. Marking a milestone birthday without him by her side, her long reign enters a new era. By Rachel Elbaum | Read more
Poverty soared to a pandemic high last month
The pandemic wreaked havoc on the finances of millions of households, but that pain was not spread evenly. Black poverty is now close to double that of the overall rate, and childhood poverty has soared to 17.4 percent. By Martha C. White | Read more
OPINION: How the GOP hopes to hobble activism following the Chauvin verdict
Instead of looking to stamp out police brutality, (mostly Republican) politicians are turning against the movement leading our overdue national reckoning, two social justice organizers argue in an opinion piece. By Dorian Warren and Seft Hunter | Read more
As network news leadership shuffles, doubts about future loom
Recent broadcast news shakeups betray a larger trend: In the era of streaming and social media, when the audience for broadcast news is in sharp decline and the companies are navigating a tricky transition to digital, the entire industry faces an unsettled future. By Dylan Byers | Read more
BETTER: Spring allergies or Covid-19? Here’s how to tell
What are the differences between allergies and coronavirus? Experts discuss common symptoms of both and what you need to know. By Linda Carroll | Read more
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One big sigh of relief
“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