MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tuesday’s verdict was a culmination of a case a year in the making. There was a lot of anticipation building up to the jury’s ultimate decision. CBS4 spoke with South Florida representatives and law enforcement who said they believe justice was served.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all charges against him.
“He was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter,” explained Judge Donald Graham of the Southern District of Florida.
He was speaking on a ZOOM call to members of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. The organization pairs young men of color with mentors.
“I’m speechless,” says 5000 Role Models founder, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. “I just don’t want this to become the ceiling for these police shootings. This is really the floor.”
On the call, members watched parts of the closing arguments and were able to ask their questions to local attorneys, a judge and law enforcement.
“Law enforcement, by and large, saw the same thing the jury saw, the same thing that the Floyd family saw— and that was a murder,” says Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo,” speaking to CBS4. “The death of George Floyd was unjustified. It was unlawful. We are relieved that, unlike other criminal cases in this country that have taken years to resolve, the Floyd family is getting justice in less than a year.”
State Sen. Shevrin Jones of South Florida says, while it was a significant day, he criticized the lack of acknowledgment from Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed HB 1, the so called “anti-riot bill,” on Monday.
“Not once did he speak about the police violence against Black men,” said Sen. Jones. “Not once did he speak about the gun violence happening in Black communities. Not once did he speak about the laws on the books that are incarcerating Black men at an alarming rate. The state of Florida cannot hide behind bills and legislation with what is really taking place.”
Jones says there were numerous other proposals for police reform bills, but as the legislative session draws to a close, most have not even been discussed.
Many consider Tuesday at least a step toward change, with a conviction in the case and justice for Floyd’s loved ones.