BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — April 20, 2021 was a historic day for black people everywhere. Those who cried, those who marched, and those who stood in solidarity with 46-year-old George Floyd.
“I’ve been shouting 'no justice, no peace,' and I finally had peace last night," president of the National Action Network Reverend James Lewis said.
On Tuesday, a jury found former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
On a Zoom interview with Reverend Lewis, reporter Jeddy Johnson asked if he expected this outcome. He responded "absolutely not."
“Honestly I was shocked," black business owner Demetrius Mack said. "I was planning on looking at the riots and everything after he got off or got a lesser degree, but when he got convicted of all three I was shocked."
According to NPR, from 2005 to 2020 only five non-federal officers have been convicted of murder in an on-duty shooting and not had those conviction later overturned.
“It was satisfying to finally see a police officer held accountable for their misuse and their action. But then the reality set," President and CEO of The Arc of Justice Kirsten John Foy said. "George will no longer be with us. Neither will the scores of other victims of police violence.”
So for these three buffalo men a guilty verdict is just a start. They believe legislation needs to be changed, police reform needs to happen and that all police going forward need be held accountable.
“We must have national standard for use of force. We must have national standards for training. Until that day comes, this moment while satisfying, is incomplete and does not solve the overall problem of police violence the we face in this nation," Foy said.
Chauvin will be sentenced in eight weeks and the other officers involved in the arrest will also face trial.