MINNEAPOLIS – Cheers erupted in George Floyd Square as Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict: Derek Chauvin has been convicted of the murder of George Floyd.
People were crying, hugging and chanting Floyd’s name. Some threw handfuls of banknotes in the air.
The intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue – now known as George Floyd Square – became a makeshift memorial to Floyd and a community healing space after Floyd was killed there last May.
Tuesday was an epicenter of joyous disbelief. The verdict demanded by protesters and activists for nearly a year had been delivered.
“I’m in shock,” Jennifer Starr Dodd said of the verdict. She was in tears, hugging her friends who encouraged her to drink the water. His legs were shaking.
“We count, you know, they see us and they see our pain. Today is the beginning of the healing work. “
She said the verdict gives her hope and that she is ready to heal and make a change. She said it was a signal that her life and the lives of her children mattered.
Denise Kanen comforted horn player Butchy Austin who was overwhelmed and crying. The two never met, but Kanen said Austin was her son’s age and felt the need to comfort him when she saw the expression on his face.
“It doesn’t sink in yet,” she said.
The atmosphere in the square remained cheerful after the announcement of the verdict. Community members enjoyed the snacks provided as a group started playing and slowly moved down 38th Street. Activists gave speeches outside Cup Foods where Floyd was killed last May. Many encouraged protesters to celebrate tonight but get back to work tomorrow.
Pictures:Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict sparks reactions across the country
Marcia Howard, a former teacher and organizer who can be found in the plaza almost every day, led the crowd chanting “no justice, no streets” and “one down, three to go”, in reference to other officers indicted in The Death of Floyd.
Before the verdict was delivered, Howard said no matter what happened in the courtroom, activists would continue to hold the place until all officers were convicted – one of their 24 demands. for the city.
Raycurt Johnson recalled being in Los Angeles 30 years ago for the riots after the Rodney King verdict. On Tuesday, the musician celebrated Chauvin’s conviction.
“Justice has been served, it was recognized that this guy couldn’t get away with a murder,” Johnson said.
‘It means everything’:Minneapolis happily chants George Floyd’s name after Derek Chauvin is convicted of murder
As night fell in George Floyd Square, Reverend Jesse Jackson took to the stage leading the crowd in prayer and chanting George Floyd’s name and “keep the hope alive”.
“I want to thank God for Keith Ellison,” Jackson said. “Minnesota, don’t let the darkness define you,” he says.
“The light will overcome the darkness.”
Contribute: The Associated Press