BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Black community leaders in Baton Rouge said, today’s guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial is finally a step in the right direction.
President of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP Eugene Collins and Pastor of Trinity AME Church Riteny Castine called today’s ruling a sigh of relief.
“There’s a sense of relief that comes up, but at the same time there’s a certain level of disappointment because too much or too many times as situations like this resulted in no justice.” said Collins.
He said, what happened in Minneapolis is a small win.
“You can see the change shaking, right? you can see the structures changing, it just takes time,” said Collins.
Castine said, while the ruling was different from what we’ve seen in similar cases, George Floyd’s death was no different playing out on camera..
“Body cameras are allowing us to see things that are happening in real time and we have to have the courage to speak the truth in all situations,” said Castine.
Outside the courthouse, the verdict was met with a resounding applause. The leaders said this is justice, but there’s more work to be done.
“It definitely sends a message to other officers that if you kill a man you can no longer get a way with it, jail is a possibility,” said Collins.
“Even if it exposes some things that are not quite right in our judicial system, within our political system, within our criminal justice system or within society at large. we have to have courage to speak truth to that power and right the decency to work like hell to be able to change all of the things we know are not right,” said Castine.