Feven Gerezgiher reports:
On Tuesday a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts in the murder of George Floyd. He faces up to 40 years in prison.
Thousands gathered outside the courthouse and at George Floyd Square, anxiously waiting for the verdict. The news came as a relief to many; neighborhoods erupted in cheers and honking horns. Floyd’s brother Philonise said his family can finally breathe again.
“I feel relieved today that I finally have the opportunity to get hopefully some sleep,” he said. “A lot of days that I prayed and I hoped and I was speaking everything into existence. I said I have faith that he will be convicted.”
Dr. Yohuru Williams is a civil rights scholar at the University of St. Thomas. He said the verdict is just one win in an ongoing battle.
“We’re still facing the spectre of what happened to Daunte Wright, we’re still talking about a national reckoning with race and policing in this country, and we still have to deal with foundational issues that contributed to this case,” said Williams. “It’s one thing to talk about and focus on what happened to George Floyd – it’s another thing to look at the unjust laws that contributed to this circumstance.” Community activists continue to call for investments in public safety as well as the passage of eight police reform bills at the state legislature.
Three other police officers are charged with the murder of George Floyd. They are scheduled to go to trial on August 23rd.
Photo Credit: Feven Gerezgiher