Detroit activists celebrate guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin trial

DETROIT – In the days following George Floyd’s death in May 2020, protesters across the United States, including Detroit, took to the streets calling for changes within the police force.

Following Tuesday’s guilty verdict in the case of former officer Derek Chauvin, many of the same people who protested last summer gathered at the Detroit Police Department headquarters to celebrate.

“Real justice is when this becomes the norm rather than the exception,” said Tristan Taylor.

READ: Jury convicts Derek Chauvin of all charges of George Floyd’s murder

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READ: Reactions are pouring in from local leaders after Derek Chauvin is found guilty of George Floyd’s death

Taylor and Nakia Wallace helped found Detroit Will Breathe – a direct reference from Floyd. The group of demonstrators grew daily, at times clashed with the police and demanded changes.

“The guilty verdict that was passed was because of the movement, not because of the courts. We have seen courts fail to do their job in providing justice. The special thing about it was how people reacted, ”said Taylor.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig was on the same sidelines on Tuesday, often at odds with protesters.

“It’s still a stain in our job. We had to deal with weeks and months of sometimes violent protests. But at the end of the day the right thing was done, ”said Craig.

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This time Wallace helped gather the group at DPD to celebrate.

“It feels like a victory because we’ve come out here and across the country to demand change and to demand that chauvin be held accountable,” she said. “It feels good to know that this only happens because we’ve taken to the streets all over the country and asked for it.”

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