NewsLocal News


Utah leaders, officials react to Chauvin guilty verdict

Posted at 3:46 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 18:27:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Moments after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd, Utah officials and state leaders reacted to the verdict.

In a statement released on social media, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said she was pleased with the verdict and said her thoughts were with Floyd's family and friends.

"Our nation has skilled and committed police officers, but alos those who operate in their roles with bias and without regard for human life and liberty," wrote Wilson. "There needs to be accountability. As a community, I ask that we work collaboratively to address systemic issues regarding race and justice as we seek to reshape our institutions in order to promote accountability and justice."

Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah, shared an emotional video in which she smiled for nearly 20 seconds before saying a word.

"Justice for George Floyd," said Scott while holding back tears. "I never thought I'd get to see justice. We celebrate tonight! We celebrate tonight!"

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill credited the work of prosecutors during the trial in getting a guilty verdict on all counts.

"I think it shows what a great job the prosecution was able to do, by putting this evidence forward," Gill told FOX 13. "It was a very compelling case that was presented in a very thoughtful, sequential manner that left a sense of a very inevitable outcome here."

"It's an accountability of guilt and a historic time."

Former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank told FOX 13 that he hopes the verdict spurs a reimagining of law enforcement in the country, and that this moment doesn't go to waste.

"If you and I are talking about this six months from now, a year from now, or if it happens again in a month, we will have lost everything that we may have potentially gained by the outcome of this trial, by a summer of protests, by the outcry of the public," said Burbank.

Utah Sen. Burgess Owens (R) shared his thoughts on social media.

"Today, justice was served in the senseless killing of George Floyd. I am praying for peace and healing in Minnesota and across the nation as we the people unite to build bridges for positive change," wrote Owens on his Twitter account.

The Utah Democratic Party issued a statement, praising the jury's decision.

“As a state rocked like so many others by the protests and raw emotions of summer 2020, and as people who watched in horror for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds, we are relieved by the verdict: rightfully guilty on all counts," the organization wrote.