Ohio leaders react to ex-cop’s guilty verdict in George Floyd death

Ohio elected leaders react to the guilty verdicts reached Tuesday evening in the murder trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in the death of an unarmed Black man.

ExplorePHOTOS: Nation reacts to Derek Chauvin being found guilty in George Floyd's murder

The former officer, Derek Chauvin, 45, was convicted as charged in the May 25, 2020, death of 46-year-old George Floyd. The jury convicted him after 10 hours of deliberations of pinning Floyd to the pavement with his knee on Floyd’s neck in a case that sparked protests across the world, with some violent clashes with police, and touched off a renewed look at racism and policing in the U.S.

ExploreCrowds react with joy, wariness to verdict in Floyd's death

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a former prosecutor, Congressman and state attorney general, was among several elected leaders in Ohio to release a statement, which he also posted on Twitter, following the verdict in the case.

“A jury in Minneapolis has spoken by convicting Derek Chauvin of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

“Our system of justice worked. The jury members listened to both sides, weighed the evidence, and came to this verdict.

“As we go forward as a nation, we must learn from the tragic death of George Floyd,” DeWine stated.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost also tweeted a statement that he agreed with the jury’s verdict.

“What Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd is murder. He killed more than a man — he nearly killed the hope of justice.  The jury called it murder, and restored that hope.  Chauvin dishonored his badge and a noble profession.  That should weigh heavily in his sentencing hearing,” Yost stated.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati tweeted that he was “grateful today that justice appears to be served as we await sentencing.”

George Floyd’s death was tragic and should never happen to anyone in America,” Portman stated.

Ohio House Democrats tweeted the statement from House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes of Akron, which said in part that Chauvin was held accountable for killing Floyd.

“While today is a tremendous step, we know this isn’t the end of oppression, racism and injustice in America. Far from it. But is is my hope that today’s verdict can serve as a turning point in the movement to dismantle racist systems, hold those sworn to protect us to a higher standard and move us closer to building a more perfect union when Black lives truly matter,” she stated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.