CAIR-Philadelphia Statement on Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 04/21/21) — The Philadelphia Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) welcomes the conviction of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.

The jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts he faced from killing George Floyd. Chauvin infamously kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly ten minutes during an arrest on May 25th of last year.

In a statement, CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck said, “A guilty verdict, while satisfying in that it brings a measure of justice to Derek Chauvin’s heinous actions, is still an incomplete measure. It will never bring back George Floyd and it is just the first step in addressing unchecked police violence against people of color.”

He continued, “The criminal justice system that we have is broken at its very foundation. The murder of George Floyd is one of the most grotesque illustrations of that. I’m glad to see a guilty verdict. This is what we were hoping for and anticipating. Just as the prosecution said in its closing arguments, ‘you saw what you saw,’ America saw what it saw. And I am relieved that at the very least, we have some semblance of accountability in this moment.” Welbeck concluded by saying, “This conviction is a start, but there is much work to do. Yesterday, around the time the jury read the verdict in the Chavuin trial, police in Columbus, Ohio killed 15 year-old Ma’Khia Bryant after she called for help, in what appears to be another example of disproportionate use of force that costs too many Americans their lives.”

Minnesota sentencing guidelines recommend 12.5 years in prison for a conviction stemming from second-degree murder for someone with no prior criminal history though prosecutors in this case could seek up to the maximum 40 years if Judge Cahill determines there were aggravating factors leading in the incident leading to the conviction. 

Said Mohammed Zubairu, President of the Executive Committee of CAIR-Philadelphia, “The Muslim community of the Greater Delaware Valley must continue to speak out on issues of justice in our locality and our country. As Americans, this is our First Amendment right. As Muslims, this is our obligation, to correct wrongs when we see them, and certainly not be part to them by action or inaction.”

CAIR-Philadelphia will continue to monitor this situation as the sentencing hearing approaches.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney, Timothy N. Welbeck, Esq. twelbeck@cair.com; 404-642-0014 (cell)