“Finally some accountability:” Community reacts after jury convicts Derek Chauvin
EASTERN SHORE Md.,- Resilience and rejoice flooded the nation on Tuesday when the country heard the fate of Derek Chauvin , now convicted on all three charges in the death of George Floyd.
Richard Potter, president of the Talbot County NAACP, says this is a good first step towards police accountability, but plenty of work still remains.
“Justice has yet to be served for Anton Black, justice has yet to be served for Sandra Bland, justice has yet to be served for Tamir Rice and the list goes on and on, said Potter.
Others though, feel the verdict may have been politically motivated. Federalsburg Police Chief Michael Mcdermott says he expected Chauvin would be guilty of manslaughter, but says current politics may have swayed the jury to convict on the other charges.
“I didn’t sit on that jury but I know that police officers don’t get up every day and put on their uniform and go out into the world to police for the purpose of murdering the citizens that are there to protect,” said Chief McDermott.
But to that end, lawmakers pushing for police reform like Maryland House Speaker Pro-Temp Sheree Sample-Hughes says this verdict points to an obvious sign that there is a problem with policing.
“If we didn’t have such a problem we would not have the numerous deaths were citizens have died at the hands of law-enforcement,” Sample-Hughes said. “If we didn’t have a problem in the state of Maryland then we would not be hearing civilians want to be a part of the police misconduct and the decisions that are being done and happening in law-enforcement.”
Meanwhile, those like McDermott say police will now face an uphill battle to mend the broken relationship with the public.
“The police are not there to hurt them. We are here to help,” Chief McDermott said. “We always have been here to help. That’s the message, if we have to bang the gong and sound the trumpet and make people more aware that that’s who we are and that’s our nature to serve and protect than I guess that’s what we’ll have to do.”
Across state lines in Delaware, reactions from local lawmakers and officials have also rolled in after hearing the guilty verdict handed down to Chauvin. Delaware’s Attorney General Kathy Jennings saying, “George Floyd’s murderer has been held accountable; but our work is not done.”
Meanwhile, Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt-Rochester saying, “While no verdict will return George Floyd to his family and loved ones, today we can say, there is accountability.”