WACO, Texas – Former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday of both murder and manslaughter in the 2020 death of George Floyd.
For those who have fought for justice for Floyd for almost a year now, it was the only acceptable verdict.
“I am very pleased that the jury weighed the evidence that we all saw with our own eyes and came to a guilty verdict,” says Waco N.A.A.C.P. Branch President Dr. Peaches Henry.
The murder received national attention due to the disturbing video showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he died, sparking nationwide protests – including some here in Central Texas.
Henry says this woke the nation up to what people of color have been dealing with for decades.
“We had videotape that was over nine minutes long that showed people what we have been saying,” Henry said. “For the first time, we have been believed.”
In what will certainly go down as a landmark case, we might not know its true impact for years to come.
“We’ll be able to measure how big a step this is by the acts of reform in police accountability that we see moving forward,” Henry said.
Henry calls the verdict a “turning point” in the nation’s history, and that it could eventually change the relationship between communities and law enforcement for the better.
“If we continue to turn in the right direction, we will be able to transform the way that marginalized communities and communities of color are policed,” Henry said.
Chauvin is still awaiting sentencing.