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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 10:01 AM
Updated: Apr 22, 2021 10:01 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 514171

Reported Deaths: 10285
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34920557
DeSoto33270432
Hinds32652642
Jackson24876391
Rankin22516404
Lee16366245
Madison14932283
Jones14129247
Forrest13785260
Lauderdale12279324
Lowndes11314193
Lamar10663140
Pearl River9720244
Lafayette8855143
Hancock7839132
Washington7553169
Oktibbeha7216138
Monroe7036179
Pontotoc7003109
Warren6872178
Panola6768135
Neshoba6732210
Marshall6686142
Bolivar6451151
Union640898
Pike5933156
Alcorn5887107
Lincoln5533136
George510380
Prentiss505385
Tippah492783
Itawamba4857107
Scott478199
Adams4771125
Tate4765117
Leflore4736144
Copiah457095
Yazoo456692
Simpson4554117
Wayne443172
Covington434695
Sunflower4315106
Marion4279112
Coahoma4238109
Leake414090
Newton395782
Tishomingo384894
Grenada3777109
Stone365766
Jasper340866
Attala338790
Winston317892
Chickasaw316167
Clay312578
Clarke301295
Calhoun285949
Holmes271889
Smith269452
Yalobusha244247
Tallahatchie232053
Greene224749
Walthall221866
Lawrence219141
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster206248
Noxubee188743
Montgomery181857
Carroll174941
Jefferson Davis173843
Tunica163339
Benton153139
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134439
Humphreys132139
Franklin126029
Quitman107628
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845761

Reported Deaths: 16119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161862004
Mobile742411381
Madison53315732
Shelby38351369
Baldwin38104589
Tuscaloosa36052641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25590263
Calhoun22598518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20026518
Marshall18790316
Houston17741425
St. Clair16904358
Limestone16153219
Cullman16067303
Elmore15912294
Lauderdale14991306
Talladega14209299
DeKalb12985269
Walker12067380
Blount10729192
Autauga10526157
Jackson10170194
Coffee9425192
Colbert9341208
Dale9024192
Tallapoosa7273201
Russell708865
Chilton7042170
Escambia6956143
Covington6943195
Franklin6338108
Chambers5785142
Marion5413130
Dallas5295209
Pike5123109
Clarke484886
Lawrence4831129
Winston4780110
Geneva4643136
Bibb434594
Barbour369980
Butler3439100
Marengo342393
Monroe337466
Randolph334867
Pickens333988
Fayette330085
Henry320766
Hale318489
Cherokee318363
Crenshaw260777
Washington256952
Cleburne254560
Lamar251953
Clay251169
Macon245064
Conecuh193162
Coosa185547
Lowndes178268
Wilcox177638
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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