Protests and celebrations broke out across the country after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts, including murder and manslaughter charges.
The jury reached a verdict on Tuesday, convicting Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, in the death of George Floyd, the Black man who was pinned to the pavement with a knee on his neck for almost 9 minutes. He will be sentenced in eight weeks and faces up to 75 years in prison.
In South Florida and across the diaspora, Caribbean-Americans and Caribbean nationals had much to say about the outcome of the trial. We asked members of the diaspora what was their reaction to the verdict. Here are the responses:
Diana Moore – I’m just wondering if this is gonna be another one-shot deal. Are the police officers gonna bring out different changes as to how to handle situations like this? Are they gonna hold their own police officers accountable? Yes, I was happy that there was a guilty verdict, but I want to know if this changes their policies. I was happy that there was accountability and I’m hopeful that any other police officer in this situation, like Kimberly Ann Potter [the shooter of Daunte Wright], will also face the same consequences.
Brian Saint Cloud – Honestly, I wasn’t surprised. Based on the evidence, I think guilty was the only verdict that they could have come up with. I think it was justice served.
Elaine Sinclair – As for the outcome, I am happy it came out that way but I was anticipating something more. However, an eye for an eye doesn’t make sense. I’m happy he got what he deserves. I hope that this becomes a lesson to all police officers that they can’t treat human beings as if they are inanimate things. They have a life just like you, not because you’re an officer means that you have the power of life or death. Even when it happened, I said “Why couldn’t he have tased him?” If he was not complying, tase him. He didn’t have to [kneel] on his neck. George Floyd was lying on his stomach with his hands behind him. He could not move and the police officer kneeled on his neck. That feels like it was deliberate. So the outcome matches the crime and therefore, I think justice is served.
Roshel Bailey – I was happy to see a guilty verdict. We certainly haven’t seen a white police officer found guilty of killing a Black person ever it feels like. But I hope it doesn’t stop here. It shouldn’t take worldwide protests to hold a police officer accountable next time. It feels like this was a unique circumstance. But I also hope that it’s the start of actual change in America.
Ben Ferguson – I was elated and filled with joy [hearing] the guilty verdict as Black people usually never get justice. I am hopeful that this would put a stop to how the criminal justice system dehumanizes Black people. Unless Federal laws are put in place, this won’t stop police officers from continuing targetting and dehumanizing Black people. As a matter of fact, we have to be now more careful dealing with a police officer.