Top Minnesota Businesses Hail Chauvin’s Murder Conviction
Minnesota’s business community welcomed the news of Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction on Tuesday. After the verdict was announced on Tuesday afternoon, several big companies and local business advocates released statements in support of the decision, though many acknowledged that there’s still plenty of work left to do on racial equity.
The Minnesota Business Partnership, a coalition of chief executives of more than 100 businesses in the state, said that “justice was served and hopefully some measure of healing can begin.”
“We are pleased the jury carefully weighed the evidence and delivered a just verdict in this case, but we also recognize that the struggle for racial equality and equity is far from finished,” the partnership said in a statement. “It is not enough to secure a conviction after an injustice occurs, we must collectively work to adopt policies, practices, and behaviors at a community and individual level to prevent the injustice from happening in the first place.”
The Minnesota Business Partnership also repeated its call for broader police reforms. The group said that Minnesota’s laws must be enforced “fairly and equitably.”
“But achieving true social justice requires measures that go beyond passing and enforcing new laws; our culture, attitudes and behaviors must also change,” the partnership said. “It is incumbent upon all of us – elected officials, law enforcement agencies and officers, civil servants, community leaders, educators, the business community, and the public – to take bold steps toward building a more equitable state for all Minnesotans.”
Last summer, in the wake of Floyd’s death, the partnership asked Minnesota legislators to make a number of specific police reforms. State lawmakers have not yet implemented any major changes to date, though.
Meanwhile, in a letter to employees Tuesday, Target Corp. CEO and chairman Brian Cornell said that George Floyd’s murder a year ago “felt like a turning point for our country.”
“The solidarity and stand against racism since then have been unlike anything I’ve experienced,” Cornell wrote. “Like outraged people everywhere, I had an overwhelming hope that [Tuesday’s] verdict would provide real accountability. Anything short of that would have shaken my faith that our country had truly turned a corner.”
Christophe Beck, CEO of St. Paul-based Ecolab, said his company will continue “working to achieve greater racial equity and social justice within our communities.”
“While the trial has concluded, the pain we feel over the murder of George Floyd – and many others – remains,” Beck said in a statement. “We hope the conclusion of this trial will help to bring some form of closure to the family and friends of George Floyd and to all of us who were shocked and saddened by his death.”
B Kyle, president and CEO of the St. Paul Regional Chamber, said her organization plans to “help the business community be a catalyst for change.”
“The future of our shared economy depends on how we address equity and inclusion today,” she said. “We are ready, we are committed, and we welcome anyone who would like to join us on the journey.”