JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd’s death.
The jury came to its verdict less than a year after the white chauvin nailed the 46-year-old black man to the neck with one knee last May.
RELATED: Major Events Since George Floyd’s Arrest and Death
So some activist groups and Jacksonville residents reacted to the verdict – guilty in all respects.
Northside Coalition activists, known for raising their concerns, were silent in the Duval County’s School Board parking lot when the verdict was read in the chauvinist trial.
The Verdict: Chauvin was convicted of accidental second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
The activists then cheered. They had taken part in last summer’s protests after Floyd’s death and demanded justice for him. And on Tuesday afternoon, they got the verdict they wanted.
“This trial was another test to see if black lives really mattered,” said Ben Frazier, president of the Northside Coalition.
According to Frazier, the verdict was also about holding the police accountable.
“We have seen police officers go free and free too many times despite the damned evidence against them,” Frazier said.
Activist Hope McMath said, “It’s super emotional. I think because too often we don’t see justice. In my heart I didn’t believe it would happen. “
Now these activists say it is time to return to their demands for police reform and justice for all.
Activists say the ruling was a victory for the Black Lives Matter movement, but they also say more work needs to be done to prevent what happened to Floyd from happening to another black person.
The activists had rallied for a demonstration over the renaming of schools, but stopped the demonstration as soon as a verdict was passed.
Following the ruling in the Chauvin Trial, members of the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, an activist group fighting for justice and liberation, will gather outside the Duval County Courthouse at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday to rally for police accountability.
Christina Kittle, a member of the JCAC, says she was relieved to find out that Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in Floyd’s death.
“Satisfied with the result. I was hoping for that, ”said Kittle.
She says this is just the beginning of a change that needs to happen to the police.
“We hope this sets a precedent for Jacksonville on how to deal with these situations,” said Kittle.
Kittle says there are more people out there who deserve justice after being killed by police.
“They still have Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright, so they still need justice,” Kittle said. “So we will continue to have protests.”
Kittle says JCAC planned to rally after the verdict – whatever the outcome.
Isaiah Rumlin, president of the Jacksonville NAACP, also incriminated the verdict.
“The George Floyd murder will have a lasting impact in this country and this world because what happened was completely wrong and relates to the way officials continue to treat black people. You have to stop. There has to be reform, ”said Rumlin.
Rumlin says he wasn’t nervous about the evidence about Tuesday’s ruling.
“The attorneys did a good job, the prosecution did a good job in providing evidence,” Rumlin said.
Rumlin says Floyd’s death will have a lasting impact on the police.
“I think the sheriff’s departments across the country and in Jacksonville have started to consider black and brown lives important, and you just can’t murder anyone on the street,” Rumlin said.
When News4Jax was at Five Points Tuesday afternoon shortly after the verdict was announced, people approached her to share their reactions to the decisions in the Minneapolis courtroom.
“Well, it’s good to hear that someone is actually going to get justice behind what happened in this situation,” said Anthony Maxwell, a Jacksonville resident.
“I was over the moon. I was emotional,” said Keri Compton of Jacksonville of her reaction to the verdict.
“I am pleased with the verdict and am happy to see him go to jail,” said Erika Furlong, a Jacksonville resident.
“I’m glad there is some justice for what happened,” said Kathleen Laney of Jacksonville.
Activist Darryl Paiva, who lives in Jacksonville, said he ran his car over to see the results of the verdict.
“I am absolutely thrilled. I stopped in preparation for a few moments. I wanted to make sure I was in a place where I could really react, ”Paiva said. “When the judge finally gave the decision, I couldn’t have been happier. For too long there have been two judicial systems, particularly in relation to police violence, and for the first time we have seen a sign of hope that things can move forward more equitably. “
Paiva says this should be the beginning of further changes.
“We have to completely overhaul the system and defuse the police,” said Paiva. “It’s a trigger word, but the real meaning of it is to redistribute funds.”
Wesley Rogers of Jacksonville says the country was in great pain that led to the verdict after seeing the video of Floyd gasping repeatedly: “I can’t breathe.”
“I think everyone from DC to California to New York should find some kind of relief in the justice system. Chances are that’s not by the color of our skin or the way we look at ourselves. We’re all bleeding red and God is so good, ”said Rogers.
News4Jax also spoke to a woman on vacation from the UK who said she was closely watching the process and how it would end.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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