Kalamazoo reacts to Chauvin verdict

Local activists cheer the conviction in the murder of George Floyd, but say there is still much work to be done.

A little after 5pm Tuesday, a judge read the verdict: Derek Chauvin was found guilty in all three counts against him in his trial for the murder of George Floyd.

Locally, Kalamazoo activists said they were relieved. Many gathered outside the Kalamazoo County courthouse to applaud the decision.

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“It’s a huge burden of off our shoulders and our hearts,” said Corianna McDowell in an interview with WWMT.

But despite the definitive verdict in this one case, activists say there will still be a long, hard path to follow to reach equal treatment by police.

“Today he was convicted of murder and now we want to keep applying pressure and hold cops accountable,” said activist Quinton Bryant. “We need to know that you’re here to protect and serve us not to kill and harass us.”

For their part, members of the Kalamazoo Public Safety Department say they’re on board with calls for change from the community – as long as it is peaceful.

“I would much rather work together, sit down at the table, come up with solutions, and listen than kind of the things we saw last Summer where there was not a lot of listening by either sides,” said Deputy Chief Dave Boysen.

KDPS has its own problems. It is still coping with the fallout from its mismanagement of protests and rallies last summer.

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