How Detroiters are reacting to the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin case

Posted at 5:38 AM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 05:38:25-04

(WXYZ) — As the entire world heard the three guilty verdicts read in the trial against Derek Chauvin, protesters took to the street, many in victory, others crying out for further accountability arguing this is just the first step.

The City of Detroit is also feeling the trial's outcome deeply, with many processing the moment.

There were protests over the summer organized largely by a group called Detroit Will Breathe, formed 328 days ago, just days after George Floyd's death. For them, Tuesday was a moment of recognition.

“I feel like this is an important first step. But there’s still a long road to justice," Shawn Vaugn said.

They gathered by the dozens at the corner of Michigan and Third to hear Judge Peter Cahill read the juror's guilty verdict in the case against Chauvin.

It's a start, but not a victory for protesters like Tristan Taylor with Detroit Will Breathe.

“I thought this was an expression of the power of the movement every time there are instances of police brutality," he said.

The group took to the streets last spring to demand accountability for all four officers involved in Floyd's death.

“Where’s the guilty verdict for the person who killed Breonna Taylor? Where’s the guilty verdict for the person who killed Eric Gardner?" one person asked.

Faith leaders, including the Rev. Wendell Anthony, the head of the Detroit NAACP, said the work has just begun.

"We can now come to a point when we can do something about a problem tearing our country apart. We can do better. African Americans are Galli for justice. We aren't mad at police but bad police," he said.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig also reacted to the verdict. When it happened, Craig called Floyd's death murder.

“Still a stain on our profession. We had to deal with weeks and months and at times violent protests but at the end of the day, the right thing was done. I applaud the courageousness of those jurors," he said.