Sen. Tim Scott, other Republicans laud Chauvin murder conviction: 'Our justice system is getting more just'
Former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder, manslaughter in death of George Floyd
Sen. Tim Scott and other Republicans on Capitol Hill and nationally lauded the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd on Tuesday, saying that the verdict proved the strength of the American judicial system.
Chauvin was convicted on all counts Tuesday afternoon, nearly 11 months after video showed the former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes as Floyd repeatedly said he was struggling to breathe.
Floyd's death caused months of protests – often accompanied by riots – initially in Minneapolis and later nationwide. It also made police treatment of Black Americans a major issue in the presidential election and led many members of Congress to attempt to advance police reform bills.
"I think our justice system is getting more just, I'm thankful for the verdict and certainly thought it was murder," Scott, R-S.C., said. He continued to say that the case "reinforces a commitment that we can have confidence that the justice system is becoming more just" and that he is "relieved" at the outcome.
Scott in a separate prepared statement said "there is more work to be done to ensure the bad apples do not define all officers – the vast majority of whom put on the uniform each day with integrity and servant hearts. We must all come together to help repair the tenuous relationship between law enforcement and Black and minority Americans."
Scott was the driving force behind Republican police reform efforts in Congress last year. But Democrats filibustered his legislation, claiming that it did not do enough. Democrats offered their own plan, but Republicans were not comfortable with how far it went.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, also said he agreed with the verdict.
"The senseless murder of George Floyd served as yet another reminder that we still have a long way to go to live up to our nation’s highest ideals," Hogan said in a tweet. "Justice has now been served, and we hope that this verdict will bring some measure of peace to the Floyd family and the community."
Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville said the conviction was the result of strong American institutions.
"That's our judicial system, that's good," Tuberville said. "I mean if that's what they thought, you know, my understanding was, they had a good jury ... that's where our system works. And so maybe we can get some closure on this now."
Tuberville also said he hoped Chauvin's failure wouldn't reflect on all police in America.
"I want to make sure we back our police because there's a lot of good ones, a lot of good ones," he said in response to a question on whether Congress should take up police reform again. "Unfortunately, there's some that don't go by the rules and when that happens I guess we have this happen."
It's unclear what Chauvin's sentence will be. He was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
His bail was immediately revoked and he was led away with his hands cuffed behind his back. Chauvin's sentencing is scheduled for eight weeks from now, the judge said. He could be sent to prison for decades.
Fox News' Jason Donner, Stephanie Pagones, Kelly Phares and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.