ROCHESTER, N.Y. — People all over the country were by their TVs early Tuesday evening to hear the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
Spectrum News watched for reactions in Rochester as the judge announced the former Minneapolis Police officer’s conviction for murder in the death of George Floyd.
“Guilty of all charges!” yelled Dr. Kiah Nyame of Rochester as he watched the verdict live at S&T Lounge in Rochester. Many at the bar were a little on edge moments before the judge announced the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, but that tense moment quickly changed.
“I am relieved because simply I understand that if there was not a guilty verdict, that we would be in turmoil all of this country, and in fact, all over the world,” said Dr. Nyame.
Nyame tells Spectrum News he was shocked the jury found the former officer guilty on all three charges, he was only expecting a guilty verdict on one charge.
“It took me off guard, but yet it sealed me. So, I’m okay because about time after all of these years, in fact, centuries that the pattyrollers now known as police have been, someone’s accountable for their actions,” said Nyame.
Other people say the announcement was a moment of rare justice for Black people across the country.
“I feel like 20 pounds have literally just fell off of me right now. Like I am so happy, thankful that the jury was able to find him guilty because this is sort of the first time we’re seeing this kind of justice be served for a Black man, or a Black person period in America right now,” said Dr. Katrina Overby of Rochester.
Overby believes protests and calls for justice last summer played a major role in the outcome we see today.
Moving forward, Overby said it’s important for different communities to come together and have important conversations on race and justice.
“I think that the only way we can continue to see this type of justice is if we come together, have conversations about what these things feel like, and I think have one community listen to the next,” said Dr. Overby.
While many in the Black community see the Derek Chauvin trial as a win in their book, Overby says there’s still more work to do.
“We’re definitely not done, we’ve got to keep going, we’ve got to keep pushing, we’ve got to keep fighting,” added Dr. Overby.