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'The justice system worked.' Chief Craig weighs in on Chauvin guilty verdict, ongoing policing

Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 21:44:01-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Chief James Craig weighed in on the guilty verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial, saying that he was one of the first police chiefs to come out against the actions Chauvin took in Minneapolis.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin found guilty of all charges in murder of George Floyd

"The one thing I can say is the justice system worked," Craig said, while standing outside the DPD headquarters in downtown Detroit Tuesday.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

It took about 10 hours between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning for jurors to reach the verdict.

"It's still a stain on our profession," Craig said. "We had to deal with weeks and months of, at times, violent protests. But at the end of the day, the right thing was done."

Craig said on Monday that local police would be on high alert in anticipation of the verdict. Detroit Will Breathe, the local organization that led many protests last summer following Floyd's death, gathered outside of DPD headquarters Tuesday. Many overcome with emotion following the guilty verdict, as the organization has been committed to holding police accountable and calling for police reform.

RELATED: 'My heart is with George Floyd's family.' Social media reacts to Chauvin trial verdict

Craig said he applauded the courageousness of the jurors in the Chauvin murder trial and noted that Chauvin does not represent all law enforcement.

"This is not reflective of our profession," Craig said. "The vast majority of the men and women who serve every day do it right."

Craig added that he's particularly proud of Detroit police officers, mentioning a recent shooting where officers were shot at while investigating a deadly accident.

"They have a very dangerous job. I applaud them for the heroes they are," Craig said.