Tech leaders react to guilty verdict in Chauvin trial – CNET

Sarah Tew/CNET

A Minnesota jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in May 2020. “True justice requires much more,” former President Barack Obama tweeted soon after, and his sentiments were echoed across the tech sphere, including from the heads of Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.

“Today’s verdict was just,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted,” but as Dr. King wrote: ‘Justice for Black people will not flow into society merely from court decisions nor from fountains of political oratory… Justice for Black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.'”  

Microsoft’s President, Brad Smith, released a statement on behalf of the company saying that “today’s verdict is a step forward in acknowledging painful truths and for the continued cause of defeating racism and fighting discrimination,” but that “our nation has a long journey ahead before it establishes the justice and equity that Black Americans deserve.”

Twitter said the verdict will deepen solidarity and commitment to combating racial injustice but pointed out that “justice is a long road, and we can’t bring back George Floyd.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his thoughts are with George Floyd and his loved ones. “I hope this verdict brings some measure of comfort to them, and to everyone who can’t help but see themselves in his story,” Zuckerberg posted on Facebook. “We stand in solidarity with you, knowing that this is part of a bigger struggle against racism and injustice.”

Game streaming company Twitch tweeted that the trial was “a grim reminder of how far we as a society still have to go” and urged its followers to “continue to educate yourselves as to the history of police brutality in this country, and support those organizations and individuals who are doing the work of making America a better place for those who find themselves most often persecuted.”

Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, said Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old the girl who recorded George Floyd’s murder on her phone — and thereby helped ensure a guilty verdict could be returned — is a “hero.”

“This year has opened America’s eyes to the urgency with which we must act and stand up for communities of color,” Lyft co-founder John Zimmer tweeted.

Michael Dell, CEO of computer giant Dell, tweeted a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. with the quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Salesforce said the verdict “does not make up for so much loss and injustice experienced by the Black community,” while Gaming company Blizzard pledged to “continue creating inclusive games that encourage players to embrace tolerance and understanding.”

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