HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Across the nation, eyes were glued to televisions, and rooms were filled with silence as Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd.
“The jury definitely had a monumental task because the entire nation was watching, frankly, the entire world was watching,” said Devon Jacob, civil rights attorney.
Jacob was part of the team that negotiated the $27 million settlement for Floyd’s family. Jacob says given the evidence, it’s not surprising the jury was able to reach a verdict in a little over 10 hours. jacob’s colleagues were with Floyd’s family when the verdict was announced.
“They’re clearly elated at the result and it’s the right result,” Jacob said. “This is not one of those cases where it really should’ve gone, either way, this was a clear case of criminal wrongdoing and the jury got it right.”
The verdict comes almost a year after thousands took to the streets to protest across the country and here in the Midstate.
“It was mind-blowing a year ago, May, June, July, to see protests in Osaka, in Milan, all over the country, in Minneapolis, and here in Lancaster to see that a black man’s life mattered to so many people and that’s telling because we’re not used to that feeling,” said Ismail Smith-Wade-El, president of Lancaster City Council.
Joaby McMinn was one of the protesters in the streets of Lancaster following Floyd’s death.
“There’s still a lot of issues going on in our country that we have to resolve and that we have to come together as a community and try to figure out,” McMinn said. “The violence is already enough.”
Tonight, there was a sigh of relief and a step forward, but many say more work has to be done.
“More than anything else, I hope that we will recognize that this is not justice, this is some form of accountability,” Smith-Wade-El said.
“Justice doesn’t start and end with the conclusion of the trial,” said Kevin Maxson, CEO of Voices 4 the Voiceless. “Justice starts when people in this nation start treating each other equally and fairly. That’s when you have justice.”
Following Chauvin’s conviction, the other three officers who took part in that fatal arrest will face charges at trial on August 23.