The US-based stars Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce Knowles, among other stars have hailed the guilty verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer convicted of murdering black man George Floyd.
The stars are among thousands of people paying tribute to Mr. Floyd, who was pinned to the ground by Chauvin in May 2020, after the verdict in the high-profile trial was announced on Tuesday, April 20.
In an incident caught on camera by Darnella Frazier, an onlooker, Chauvin aged 45 years, is seen putting his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while arresting him last year for allegedly trying to use a fake $20 note to pay for a pack of cigarettes in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The traumatic video sparked a wave of anti-racism protests across the world under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Following the verdict – guilty on all three charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter – Beyonce shared a statement on her website alongside a childhood picture of Floyd sleeping in his mother’s arms.
“After too many years of misguided justice, today is a good day,” she said. “I encourage all of us to continue to pray for George Floyd’s family and for all the families who seek justice for their loved ones who are victims of too many years of inequalities.”
Winfrey wrote on her social media sites: “Relieved and emotional in ways I didn’t expect. I cried tears of joy as each verdict was read. I’m grateful to the witnesses and their testimonies.”
Winfrey has since expressed her gratitude to Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd, as well as the jurors “for seeing and acknowledging what the world saw on that tape.”
Among the stars that took time to applaud the verdict were Viola Davis, Mariah Carey, Kerry Washington, and Zendaya with Carey tweeting “Hallelujah!!!!!!!!” in response to the news, before adding: “A beginning, a small grain of hope for our future.”
British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton also shared his reaction, describing the verdict as “monumental.”
Meanwhile, Scandal and Django Unchained actress Kerry Washington wrote on Instagram: “A guilty #verdict. But this fight for justice is not over. We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us.”
In a separate post on Twitter, she also praised Darnella Frazier, calling her a “hero”.
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