By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Leaders across the Southland reacted Tuesday following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

“Justice has been served! I think we can breathe a sigh of relief,” Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Gardena, wrote on Twitter. “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. But we still have more work to do. This is only the beginning.”

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Mayor Eric Garcetti said the verdict was a step toward healing, reconciliation and accountability.

“For any of us who have lived through bad verdicts where justice was denied, we have seen too painfully and felt too painfully what it means for our country to stagger backwards,” he said. “So for today, for us to step forward even in the midst of our pain, it’s a good day.”

Meanwhile, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez issued a statement saying, “The murder of George Floyd at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve marked another moment of betrayal to communities of color. Today’s verdict is one small step forward in the never-ending fight for justice and accountability, underscoring that no one is above the law.”

L.A. Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas called the verdict a “victory for justice.”

“But despite today’s outcome, our hearts remain heavy for the loved ones of George Floyd who have lost a father, a brother, and a friend,” he said. “Though his life was senselessly cut short, Mr. Floyd’s legacy lives on through our collective work and advocacy to reimagine policing across this country. So, while today’s verdict will not bring George Floyd back, my hope is that his family will know that he has forever changed this nation for the better.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, also issued a statement following the verdict saying “I believe the jury has done its duty. Legal justice, however, does not bring back George Floyd and justice in one case does not erase thousands of other wrongs. We must work to make sure that this step toward justice is followed by thousands, or millions, of steps in that direction.”

On Twitter, Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “The hard truth is that, if George Floyd looked like me, he’d still be alive today.”

“No conviction can repair the harm done to George Floyd and his family, but today’s verdict provides some accountability. Now we must continue our work to root out the racial injustice that haunts our society.”

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Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon also shared his thoughts on Twitter saying, “The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial delivered accountability, but the future of equality rests squarely in America’s hands.”

“Today’s verdict is a critical step in the ongoing march towards restoring public trust in our criminal justice system,” Gascon said. “… I will continue to advocate for better training for officers, stronger accountability in use-of-force cases and in independent review of officer- involved shootings. Effective policing must be fair and just to enhance our collective safety.”

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said law enforcement officers who violate the law must be held to answer.

“As we have all seen with the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case, we must have faith in the judicial process,” he said. “The law will take its course, and justice will prevail. If a crime is committed, regardless of who the perpetrator is, they will be brought to justice. Victims will always matter. Transparency and accountability works both ways.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)