Apr 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Minneapolis reflects on Chauvin verdict as a step toward healing and calm

Derek Chauvin trial found guilty

Screenshot via CNN

A growing crowd outside the Hennepin County Government Center broke out into cheers, hugs and tears of relief as word of the Derek Chauvin verdict spread just after 4pm CT.

Catch up quick: Eleven months after George Floyd died under the former Minneapolis police officer's knee, a jury of 12 neighbors returned a guilty verdict on all three counts.

The big picture: Floyd's family and many activists believe that true justice would mean Floyd was still alive, but they have said that nothing short of a second-degree murder conviction would be an acceptable outcome.

  • After weeks of testimony and about 10 hours of jury deliberations, they got what they wanted.

What remains to be seen: Whether this marks a more significant turning point for police accountability, given how rare convictions remain.

What's next: Sentencing, a likely appeal and the August trial of the other three officers lie ahead. Calls to address deeper issues with racial justice and policing will continue — both here and across America.

  • Even as many celebrate the verdict, the broader community is still grappling with the police shooting of Daunte Wright just over a week ago.

Courteney Ross, Floyd's girlfriend at the time of his death, captured the hopes of many in our community in a CNN interview before the verdict was read:

  • "I think it will mean change. It’s a first step in a long road to recovery. We have a lot of work to do in Minneapolis. But I believe Floyd came here for a reason. ... Maybe we are the epicenter for change. Maybe we are making the world look at things in a different way."

The bottom line: After weeks of anxiety, many across the metro will be hoping for closure, a step toward healing and relative calm.

Go deeper: Derek Chauvin found guilty of all 3 charges in George Floyd's death

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