Skip to main content

'The first step towards justice': AG Keith Ellison calls for change after Chauvin conviction

Ellison's office led the prosecution of the former Minneapolis police officer.
Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 5.33.13 PM

After his office led the prosecution of Derek Chauvin, culminating in a guilty verdict on all three counts in the death of George Floyd, Attorney General Keith Ellison called for a "transformation" of the relationship between police and civilians.

He referred to Tuesday's verdict as the result of "long, hard, painstaking work," but said: "I would not call today's verdict justice however, because justice provides true restoration.

"But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice."

He paid tribute to those who watched Floyd's death under the weight of four police officers, including Chauvin on his neck.

"George Floyd mattered, he was loved by his family and his friends, but that isn't why he mattered, he mattered because he was a human being, and there's no way we can turn away from that reality.

"The people who stopped and raised their voices on May 25, 2020, were a bouquet of humanity. Old, young, men and women, black, white, a man from the neighborhood just going to get a drink, a child getting a snack with her cousin ... brave young teenagers who pressed record on their cellphones.

"They stopped and raised their voices, and even challenged authority because they saw his humanity ... because they knew what they were seeing was wrong ... and they were right."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

More than anything, Ellison says Chauvin's conviction needs to become a springboard towards change, echoing ongoing calls for major structural change in law enforcement across the nation.

"Today we have to end this travesty of recurring enduring deaths at the hands of law enforcement Those beliefs are things we have to focus our attention on.

"The work of our generation is to put unaccountable law enforcement behind us. It's time to transform the relationship between community and the people who are sworn to protect them from one that is mistrustful, suspicious and in some case terrifying, to one that is empathetic, compassionate and affirming.

"That will benefit from everyone including police officers who deserve to serve in a profession that is honored."

Next Up

Payton Willis

Gophers' rally comes up short, lose to Iowa

The Gophers came back from a 23-point deficit but couldn't complete the comeback.


Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation


Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.48.35 AM

Man gets 10 years for fatal pawn shop fire during Minneapolis riots

The incident, which took place during riots in May 2020,  resulted in one man's death.

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Election officials dismiss conservative group's complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar

The group alleged that she used campaign funds on her future husband's consulting firm.


Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 7.07.04 PM

Gov. Tim Walz says AG Keith Ellison will lead George Floyd prosecutions

He will take over the lead from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Kim Wright

AG Ellison's office to lead prosecution against officer charged in Daunte Wright's death

Activists and Wright's family had requested Ellison's office handle the prosecution.

Derek Chauvin

Derek Chauvin charged with 2nd-degree murder of George Floyd

AG Keith Ellison confirmed the charges Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-03-18 at 12.53.47 PM

Minneapolis defends decision to announce Floyd settlement during Chauvin trial

News of the $27 million settlement led to two jurors being removed this week.

derek chauvin

Derek Chauvin is appealing his conviction of murdering George Floyd

He's representing himself because he doesn't have money to hire an attorney.

Derek Chauvin

A look at the differences in the charges filed against Derek Chauvin

Attorney General Keith Ellison and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's complaints described some things differently.

Brodd defense witness

As defense starts, expert argues Chauvin's use of force was reasonable

Use-of-force expert Barry Brodd testified on behalf of the defense.