Local leaders react to guilty Chauvin verdict


(WTVO) — Many Stateline leaders are reacting to the guilty verdict of all three counts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in his role in George Floyd’s death.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara shared a message shortly before the verdict was announced.

With a verdict expected any minute in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis, I want to encourage our community to remain calm and peaceful no matter the outcome of the case. We have made progress in our community in the months since the tragic death of George Floyd. We’ve increased our training, and we’ve become more transparent in our police complaint process. We’re close to implementing body-worn cameras, and we’re improving how we respond to those experiencing a mental health crisis. Let’s continue to make progress together in the weeks and months ahead.”

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara

We are thankful that the jury saw what I and many law enforcement officers throughout the United States saw – that George Floyd was murdered at the hands of Derek Chauvin. I was horrified seeing the videos knowing that could have been my family, my sons, or even me.

Looking back at the days and weeks that followed George Floyd’s death, I was proud of our community for coming together to have their voices heard in a peaceful manner. I am also proud of all of our officers who served our community and represented our department during these tumultuous times.

We have implemented progressive policing policies that are designed to simultaneously protect our officers and our community at the same time. We strive to treat everyone with dignity – victims and suspects alike.

We will continue to train our police officers at the highest levels – trainings like implicit bias, de-escalation, mental health, and defense and arrest tactics are critical to what we do as officers. Our department trainers take pride in providing cutting edge training to assure we are training appropriately and for the best outcome in use of force situations.

Today is just a start. We will continue the conversations and we promise you this: we will hold our own accountable and we will stand out against unjust violence.

Beloit Police Chief Andre Sayles

Gov. Pritzker also released a statement.

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