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.
"The one thing I can say is the justice system worked," Craig said, while standing outside the DPD headquarters in downtown Detroit Tuesday.
I was proud of Chief James Craig last May when he became the first big city police chief to call the death of Mr. Floyd what it was: murder.— Mayor Mike Duggan (@MayorMikeDuggan) April 20, 2021
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.
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.