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UPDATES: Northeast Ohio reacts to Chauvin verdict in trial of death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin
Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 12:55:45-04

CLEVELAND — The jury in former police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial in George Floyd’s death delivered a guilty verdict on Tuesday as a skittish nation, from Minneapolis to Washington to Cleveland, awaited their decision.

You can watch video of Cleveland from the News 5 ground crews in the player below:

Police say they're prepared
Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams would not go into the specific details of the city's plan but said lessons were learned from May 30, 2020. “We have a plan in place that starts today,” he said.

The city of Cleveland issued the following statement:

"The verdict in the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been announced. We, continue to hope and pray for the family of George Floyd and his loved ones. The City of Cleveland supports citizens’ First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly and encourages people to express their views and opinions, however this must be done lawfully. Every resident in this City has and deserves to have a voice in this conversation. Since the inception of the Consent Decree, the Cleveland Division of Police has made strides toward compliance with the revision of existing policies and the implementation of new ones. We recognize that although progress has been made, additional growth still needs to take place."

Downtown vaccinations canceled
As a precaution, the Ohio National Guard announced that the Wolstein Center’s mass COVID-19 vaccination site will be closed for the remainder of the night due to the verdict. Anyone impacted by the closure will be contacted to reschedule their vaccination.

Ohio leaders respond
Gov. Mike DeWine said the following:

“A jury in Minneapolis has spoken by convicting Derek Chauvin of second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Our system of justice worked. The jury members listened to both sides, weighed the evidence, and came to this verdict. As we go forward as a nation, we must learn from the tragic death of George Floyd.”

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes said the following:

"I hope that George Floyd’s family, friends and loved ones can now begin to heal. No family should have to endure the kind of trauma they have this past year. My thoughts continue to be with them.

Today, Derek Chauvin was held accountable for killing George Floyd. But true justice will prevail when Black Lives Matter. Justice will prevail when communities no longer fear the people sworn to serve them. Justice will prevail when we no longer have to ‘Say Her Name.’ Justice will prevail when liberty and justice for all means for ALL.

While today is a tremendous step, we know this isn’t the end of oppression, racism and injustice in America. Far from it. But it is my hope that today’s verdict can serve as a turning point in the movement to dismantle racist systems, hold those sworn to protect us to a higher standard, and move us a step closer to building a more perfect Union where Black lives truly matter."

Activists speak
Cleveland Black Lives Matter co-founder Kareem Henton reacts to the verdict.

Cleveland Black Lives Matter founder reacts to Derek Chauvin verdict

Local organizations issue statements

The Cleveland Cavaliers issued the following statement:

Cleveland City Council released the following statement:

The jury has made its decision in the trial, of ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, finding him guilty on all counts. George Floyd’s family and friends waited almost a year to receive accountability for his death that finally came yesterday. Our hearts go out to them for the loss of their father, brother, friend.

Now we await Chauvin’s sentence. While we are satisfied with the verdict, much work remains to ensure all Cleveland residents are afforded equal justice under the law and equity in all aspects of their lives.Cleveland City Council affirms our commitment to oversight of the Cleveland police reforms, such as accountability, training and other measures spelled out in the federal consent decree.

United Way of Greater Cleveland:

“Today’s guilty verdict against former police officer Derek Chauvin brings justice for the murder of George Floyd and marks a profound moment in our nation’s history. But one year and many more senseless deaths later, racial injustice continues to ravage our nation and communities. That’s why now, more than ever, it’s essential for our city and our country to come together to continue the fight for equal justice for all and demand accountability from those who subject people of color, especially black and brown people, to acts of brutality and injustice. At United Way of Greater Cleveland, we denounce every act of violence, injustice and racism perpetrated against our neighbors – not only in Cleveland but nationwide. We will neither forget nor neglect our responsibility to continue to speak up and speak out for our neighbors so every person in our community can live without fear and thrive."

With reporting by Tracy Carloss and Joe Pagonakis.

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