Just moments after a Minneapolis jury returned a guilty verdict on Tuesday, April 20, Anderson Cooper asked Van live on-air what he would say to any Americans who feel this decision signifies no further change is needed for the American law-enforcement system.
"It took too long," Van replied. "It took too much marching. It took too many tears, and it was too close. And I don't care who you are—this morning, you woke up afraid to hope. You were scared to hope. Even with all the evidence you saw, you were scared to hope this morning. That tells you we need real change."
After appearing on the cable news network, Van posted footage of his speech to Instagram and included praise for Darnella Frazier, the teen who recorded George Floyd's death on her phone on May 25, 2020.
"WE WERE AFRAID TO HOPE," the 52-year-old TV personality captioned the post. "The message here: we must get more involved like the girl who held the camera. This should [never] happen again. We need change."
Following three weeks of testimony, the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The former police officer faces up to 40 years in prison, with sentencing set to happen in the next eight weeks.
Among the other public figures who have spoken out about the verdict include Kerry Washington, who has previously been vocal in calling for social-justice reform.
"A guilty #verdict," the Little Fires Everywhere star tweeted on April 20. "But this fight for justice is not over. We have a lot of work to do. There is more fight ahead of us."
Van's message can be seen in the above Instagram post.