BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams released a statement after Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the death of George Floyd.
The jury has found that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of murdering George Floyd by using negligible force for over nine minutes, which resulted in positional asphyxia. This means the twelve jurors believe that the state (prosecutor) met their burden of proving the elements of the offenses charged. The defendant acted purposely in causing this death and he is now being held to account for his actions. This verdict is vindication, not only to George Floyd’s family but also to all persons in this country who have felt this pain through George Floyd and other victims who have died unjustly.
This impartial body of diverse and ordinary men and women (without any real legal training) sent a very clear and convincing message to the people of this county that our criminal justice system is still the best in the world. A system requires truth, justice, fairness and equity when executing the law. Perhaps now we can start greater conversations about law enforcement, race relations, standard training, departmental policies and procedures, national standards and the need to stop, listen to one another and take competent actions to lessen these types of incidences that tend to shock the conscience of humanity.
As an agency, we will be talking about this case, as well as the many other cases in recent history as we look to learn better ways to engage our communities and bridge the divide between those who are sworn to serve and the persons we serve.
Law enforcement can breathe a sigh of relief as the verdict confirms what the majority of police officers know to be the truth – that we join this country in resoundingly affirming the jury’s guilty verdict. And that we can do our jobs while staying within the confines of the law and best police practices.Sheriff Alfonzo Williams