Arlington, VA

The Arlington County Board, along with other local officials, applauded a historic guilty verdict handed down by a Minnesota jury today.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd, a crime that was caught on camera and which led to a summer of protests and a racial reckoning — in Arlington, across the U.S. and around the world. The verdict was announced this afternoon.

The Board said in a statement that it “hopes that today’s verdict is a step forward in dismantling the systemic racism that pervades life throughout our nation.”

The Arlington County Board commends the Minneapolis jurors for returning a guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial and joins others around the nation in relief. The shocking video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Chauvin while other officers stood by and failed to intervene, showed the disregard for and devaluing of Black lives that is too common. The Board hopes that today’s verdict is a step forward in dismantling the systemic racism that pervades life throughout our nation.

We know that Arlington is not exempt from this racism and its impacts, and we renew our commitment to addressing those inequities and creating a culture of caring and respect. We are proud to live in a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community that champions human and civil rights, and while we know there is more work to be done, we are inspired by the efforts of Arlington community members and leaders who strengthen us as a whole.

Arlington’s congressman, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), said the verdict “confirms what we saw.”

Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Francisco Durán said in letter to families that counseling will be available “to help students deal with their feelings” in the wake of the verdict.

“While this verdict provides some closure, there are still many feelings that need to be processed and changes that need to be made to combat systemic racism in our justice system,” Durán said.

Dear APS Students, Families and Staff,

The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was charged for the murder of George Floyd, was announced this afternoon, and he was found guilty. We understand how difficult the last few months have been for many of our students and staff, and while this verdict provides some closure, there are still many feelings that need to be processed and changes that need to be made to combat systemic racism in our justice system. We acknowledge the impact this verdict will have on social justice but know there is work that still needs to be done to achieve a society where we are all treated fairly and equitably.

The racism and violence that have been highlighted in these recent tragic events may be widely discussed this week at school. Teachers will give students the opportunity to process their feelings and how this feels to them personally, as appropriate, and as they are comfortable. […]

I want to take this opportunity to affirm our commitment to anti-racism and social justice, and to our continued work in schools and in our community.

Arlington police made some preparations in the event of a verdict that prompted civil unrest, including sending parking meter enforcement aides home early and moving some parked police vehicles, ARLnow hears.

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