Commenting on the guilty verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of African-American George Floyd in the U.S. city of Minneapolis last May, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that "any other result would have been a travesty of justice."
Chauvin, a 45-year-old white man now removed from his duty as a police officer, was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, choking Floyd to death.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, she said that the verdict was "momentous" and "a testament to the courage and perseverance of George Floyd's family and many others in calling for justice.
"As the jury recognized, the evidence in this case was crystal clear. Any other result would have been a travesty of justice," she said.
Bachelet urged the United States to take "important steps" to dismantle systemic racism. She lamented that for many people of African descent, "the battle to get cases of excessive force or killings by police before the courts, let alone win them, is far from over."
In a resolution adopted in June 2020, the UN rights body called for confronting "systemic racism and police brutality against Africans and people of African descent."
"It is time to move on from talk of reform to truly rethinking policing as currently practiced in the U.S. and elsewhere," Bachelet said.
She warned that if "discriminatory policies" as well as "legacies of enslavement and transatlantic trade and the impact of colonialism" were not eliminated, "the verdict in this case will just be a passing moment when the stars aligned for justice rather than a true turning point."