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'We are able to breathe again' | George Floyd's family reacts to Chauvin verdict, calls for police reform

Joined by attorney Ben Crump and Reverend Al Sharpton, Floyd's family said they're celebrating the verdict. However, they said further systemic change is needed.

MINNEAPOLIS — As crowds cheered and drivers honked their horns in downtown Minneapolis, George Floyd's family spoke out about Derek Chauvin's verdict: Guilty on all charges. 

Floyd's family was joined by two influential civil rights leaders, Rev. Al Sharpton and attorney Ben Crump.

"Today, we are able to breathe again," said Floyd's brother Philonise. "Justice for George means freedom for all."

He thanked all of the people who he said stood up for his brother: activists, demonstrators, attorneys and more. 

"This is a victory for all of us," said another of Floyd's brothers, Rodney. "There's no color barrier on this -- this is for everyone who's been held down, pinned down."

But through the celebrations, prayers and words of thanks, speakers highlighted one other message: the fight will continue. 

"We need police reform bad," said Brandon Williams, a relative who Crump said was like a son to Floyd. "We need change in this broken system. It was built against us. Often times, we see people who are supposed to protect and serve... they do the total opposite." 

He said the proof was in something that happened just 10 miles from where Floyd was murdered: The death of Daunte Wright, a young Black man who was shot by a white police officer in Brooklyn Center. 

RELATED: Brooklyn Center neighbors recommend reforms after Daunte Wright shooting

Williams added that while Floyd got justice, some officers who have killed or injured Black men and women never face charges. 

"Often times the system fails us as Black men and women in America," he said.

Williams and other speakers called for police reform legislation, including a current national bill named in Floyd's honor. 

"America, let this be the precedent," said Crump, who represents the Floyd and Wright families, and the families of several others killed by police. He said the victory in Floyd's case will be "intertwined" with America's journey to end systemic racism. 

Speakers were firm in calling for systemic change, but the overall mood of the event was joyful. 

"We believe in a God that can even get through cracks in a jury room," said Rev. Al Sharpton. "Today we can wipe our tears away and fight on for another day."

You can watch the full press conference below.

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