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Triad leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all charges in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Leaders in the Triad with the North Carolina Association of Educators, NC A&T State University and more addressed the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin Tuesday.

Chauvin was found guilty in the murder and manslaughter in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

Video seen around the world, and multiple police body cameras, showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds outside of a grocery store.

Following jury deliberation for more than 10 hours, Chauvin was convicted of all three charges, including second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd.

Chancellor Harold Martin, chancellor for NC A&T State University said while the specifics of this trial have been “riveting,” we must not lose sight of the “broader picture.”

“Even in the final week of the Chauvin trial, news of three young men of color who either lost their lives or were mistreated by police was prominent in media around the country,” Martin said. “The perception that African Americans and Black men specifically face a different justice system in this country, one that treats them unfairly, sometimes violently and that too often leads to their death, is unfortunately a perception that is supported daily by new incidents and evidence.”

Martin said the perception he was referring to creates a toxic environment within our culture that leads to dynamics that negatively impact Black America and the nation as a whole.

Tamika Walker Kelly, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators said every North Carolinian deserves to live without the fear of losing their lives or those of their loved ones. 

“While the jury reached the right decision and did in fact convict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of George Floyd’s murder, we are again joining together to make sure all of us feel safe in our schools, neighborhoods, and communities,” Kelly said. “We know that just miles away, another unarmed Black man died at the hands of a police officer, joining the sad and long list of crimes committed against Black people by police in cities and on back roads, in living rooms and on neighborhood streets, in the dark of night and the light of day. Daunte Wright. Adam Toledo. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery.”

Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough gave his thoughts on the verdict via social media.

"Like most of America and most of the world, I was glued to the television awaiting the verdict. As they got close to reading it, I felt my heart racing. And then, as the words were read to the public, I felt a sigh of relief throughout my entire body,” Kimbrough said. “Not only does (this) give hope to people of color, but to people of all races. My prayer is that we can start to heal, to love one another better, and to realize that we are truly all in this together.”

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