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How America's CEOs reacted to the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

CNN's Christine Romans looks at how companies responded to the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict and discusses what companies should do to address inequities.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 11:01 AM
Updated: Apr 22, 2021 11:01 AM

Business leaders joined a chorus of Americans in applauding the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, while at the same time recognizing there's more work to be done to combat institutional racism.

"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.'"

Apple and many others in Corporate America responded to George Floyd's death at the hands of police nearly a year ago with calls for action to fight racism at every level, including in their own offices. While some have made progress, most acknowledged this week that their work is far from complete.

Starbucks: "George Floyd should still be alive today"

"While today's verdict is a step forward in accountability, until we confront the ugly realities and root causes that led us to this day, our people, our nation, will always fall short of their full potential," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson tweeted.

Starbucks echoed Johnson's sentiment in tweet saying: "George Floyd should still be alive today."

"Black lives matter, and we stand with our Black customers and partners," the company tweeted.

Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on three charges, including second-degree unintentional murder. Nearly a year ago, footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes sparked massive protests across America and around the world, reigniting conversations about systemic racism.

Facebook: "We stand in solidarity..."

After Tuesday's guilty verdict, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he hopes the jury's decision brought some measure of comfort to Floyd's family, others who knew him and "everyone who can't help but see themselves in his story."

"We stand in solidarity with you, knowing that this is part of a bigger struggle against racism and injustice," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

Amazon: "A small, yet important victory in the larger fight against racism and social injustice"

Amazon issued a statement calling the verdict "a small, yet important victory in the larger fight against racism and social injustice." Amazon has been criticized recently for discouraging its employees in Bessemer, Alabama, who are disproportionately Black, from unionizing.

Ben & Jerry's: "Let this be a turning point"

Ben & Jerry's, a company that's been outspoken in its support for social justice and anti-racist movements, posted a series of tweets calling for greater accountability in policing.

"Finding one officer guilty does not exonerate a legal system that has perpetually brutalized Black and Brown communities," the ice cream maker tweeted. "Let this be a turning point for us to stop addressing our society's challenges with over-policing and begin to build a new system of public safety that creates healthier and safer communities for all."

Citi: "We all need to put in the hard work"

Citi Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason, one of the few Black executive leaders at a major commercial bank, expressed gratitude that "justice has been served" in the Chauvin case, while acknowledging the verdict won't bring back Floyd or any people of color who have been killed by police over the years.

"This verdict in no way provides closure," Mason wrote in a Wednesday blog post. "We all need to put in the hard work, have the tough conversations and open our minds to the perspectives and experiences of others who don't look like us, talk like us or come from the same neighborhood."

The NBA: "We are pleased that justice appears to have been served"

The NBA and the Minnesota Timberwolves also chimed in on Twitter. "George Floyd's murder was a flash point for how we look at race and justice in our country," NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Michele Roberts, executive director of the league's Player's Association, said in a joint statement. "We are pleased that justice appears to have been served."

The Timberwolves, who are based in Minneapolis where Floyd was murdered, tweeted a statement saying the team's "deepest thoughts have been with the Floyd family since this unjust tragedy."

"Throughout our history, racial and social inequalities have been ingrained in our society," the team tweeted. "We are hopeful today's decision will serve as a step forward, but it does not ease the physical and emotional pain that continues in an environment where systemic racism still exists."

Wells Fargo, Adidas, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Lyft co-founder John Zimmer also issued statements voicing support for Black Americans or the Black Lives Matter movement after the verdict.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
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