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NRF, retailers address Chauvin verdict

The guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd brought responses from some of the nation’s top companies and business leaders, as well as one of its leading retail trade associations.

“Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our national reckoning related to race and community policing,” stated Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation. “Our retail leaders have made themselves personally and professionally accountable in their effort to promote diversity, equity and inclusion for their employees, customers and the communities they serve. They are investing time and resources in support of individuals and organizations that advance awareness and action around this country’s racial divide, and NRF will continue to convene companies to share best practices and learn from each other.”

Here are some of the retailer responses.

Starbucks Corp.
“Today’s jury verdict in the murder trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin will not soothe the intense grief, fatigue and frustration so many of our Black and African American partners are feeling. Let me say clearly to you: We see you. We hear you. And you are not alone. Your Starbucks family hurts with you."

"And while today’s verdict is a step forward in accountability, until we confront the ugly realities and root causes of what led us to this day, our people, our nation, will always fall short of their full potential. We know there is so much more work to do to address systemic racism in our society and create the change needed to ensure everyone has an equal chance to succeed and thrive."

“At Starbucks, we will continue to advance our work by focusing on greater inclusion, diversity and equity as partners, investing in the communities we serve, and partnering with community organizations to help ensure Starbucks remains a welcoming place for all.”

“We are 400,000 partners in 33,000 communities. We have the power to make a positive difference.”
—Excerpts from a letter to employees by Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson

Target Corp.
“Today’s guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial is another sign of forward progress. As I think about the Minneapolis Police Department denouncing the brutality George Floyd faced, and the disgrace expressed by multiple witnesses, the jury’s verdict reassures me that we will not go backward.”

“I am also thinking about our Black team members in particular. I know this trial cannot erase the pain that comes from years of inequalities and inequities. What I want to offer today is my promise that we as a company will continue to use our values and actions to advance empathy and understanding and to confront individual bias and systemic racism. Today’s verdict does not mean that our work is done. There’s much more to do as we support healing in our hometown of Minneapolis and across the country. We have to keep moving forward, together, toward a safe and equitable future for all.”
—Excerpts from a letter to employees by Target CEO Brian Cornell

“Today's verdict was just, 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.'"  
—Tweet from personal account of Tim Cook, CEO of Apple  

Business Roundtable 
“Today’s verdict confirms that George Floyd was the victim of a senseless crime. Though today’s verdict is a step toward justice in this case, unarmed Black men and women continue to die in encounters with the police. To ensure true justice and healing, our country needs to take steps to address its long history of racial inequity in law enforcement.” 

“Business Roundtable will continue to work with Members of Congress and the Administration on bipartisan policing reforms that implement national policing standards, and greater accountability, training, community engagement and transparency.”
—Statement from Business Roundtable, a nonprofit whose members are chief executives of major U.S. companies. Walmart CEO Doug McMillion serves as its chairman.

Best Buy 
“We still have a long way to go in our fight for racial justice in this country, and Best Buy’s unwavering commitment to this work is as strong as ever.”
—Excerpts from a statement from Best Buy

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