Community reacts to guilty verdicts in Chauvin murder trial
We'll continue to update this story as new comments are received. Here's what people are saying today in your communities:
Jasia Mosley, a 19-year-old Black community activist from Gresham and candidate for the Gresham-Barlow School Board said the verdict is a "stepping stone in the right direction. There is still a lot of work to do."
"I think that it is a confirmation. We all saw the video. We all saw what happened."
She said the verdict "doesn't change the damage done to his family or the Black community."
But she said "I hope it encourages more questions to be asked about the justice system and race and inequity."
She thinks the protests and work by Black Lives Matter have made a difference in the consciousness of America.
Nonetheless, she said "it's a point of relief. It is more fuel to the idea that we can get things done if we organize. The fight isn't over."
Gresham Standup Movement
The Gresham Standup Movement posted on social media in the wake of the guilty verdict: "This is it. ACCOUNTABILITY! POLICE REFORM! JUSTICE!"
The group, helmed by Shemar Lennox and Jaylen Welch, led many peaceful Black Lives Matter marches last spring across East Multnomah County after George Floyd was murdered.
Erin Benedictson (he/him)
Today while snowboarding up at Timberline I received a notification on my phone that said a verdict had been reached.
I went into the day lodge to get lunch and to find a TV. While getting an adult beverage the bartender was already turning the channel to the news. Over the course of the next 30 minutes a small group of 10-20 people came to see what the verdict was. Not all of them stuck around to see but many of them returned.
It was noticable to me the significance of what was about to be reported. With masks on you could still see the emotion on many of the faces. When the verdict was read the room cleared, we could all breathe again.
Gresham City Councilor Dina DiNucci hopes the verdict sparks a wave of "justice and truth prevailing across America."
"It never brings me joy to see someone convicted of a murder, that didn't have to happen," DiNucci said. "But those who are against changing anything about police officers' absolute authority should understand a jury found these abuses cannot be brushed off and excused."
DiNucci is serving her first term on the council after winning an election in 2020.
The longtime business owner and advocate has been heavily involved in supporting the Rockwood community. She currently works as a case investigator in epidemiology for the Multnomah County Health Department, working with COVID-19 cases.
"Time for us to get to work making sure these deaths and abuses that are happening everyday are stopped, and treated as seriously as the life of George Floyd in our community and across our country," she said, adding that officers should join in finding solutions.
Gresham resident LaVerne Lewis, a retired Multnomah County Corrections deputy and former criminal justice instructor at Mt. Hood Community College admitted that she felt "emotionally tangled" waiting for the verdict and cried as it was read.
"It is a painful justice. It was served, but it was painful," said Lewis, who is Black and also sits on the boards of TriMet and Mt. Hood Community College.
"We have a long way to go for justice for communities of color and the underserved communities," she added.
"Justice for the crimes committed by particular gentleman was served, yes. But a life was lost. A family lost a son, a brother, a father, a cousin. And, society lost a bit of itself," she said.
Lewis does not feel this is any kind of turning point.
"This is not a hurrah moment. This is a tiny pivot. It is a pivotal time to look at where we have to go and what we have to do to get there. I feel very strongly that, no, this is not a turning point."
She said "the work we have to do is laid out before us. We still have Breonna (Taylor) and every young black man, my nephews, that have to worry when they are pulled over and have to fear for their lives on a traffic stop."
Estacada resident Julie Miller described the verdict as "great."
"I was pleased with the jury," she said.
Stan Pulliam is Mayor of the city of Sandy, and is considering a run for governor.
"Today we saw the American justice system at work. Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder by a jury of his peers and will now be punished for the crimes he committed. Let this be a lesson to those that used the tragedy of George Floyd's murder to destroy our communities. Anarchy isn't justice. Looting isn't justice. Justice is justice.
My wife MacKensey and I extend our hearts to the family of George Floyd and we pray that this verdict gives them the closure they need to heal."
My boss and I both received notifications on our phones that the verdict was due within the next 45 minutes. I asked to turn the feed on via my phone, and we both listened while doing some paperwork. When they announced the verdict was in, I switched to the video and we watched at our front desk together. We both were ecstatic about the verdict because it is absolutely a landmark. This decision represents a shift of the "Do No Wrong" mentality that a lot of people have towards police.
I strongly feel that law enforcement are very important to our community as a whole, locally and otherwise, but I also believe that a restructure is needed to adequately serve our communities.
The Lents neighborhood recently had a civilian gunned down by police and unceremoniously left on the ground for four hours. The verdict for Chauvin is proof that our society is moving to a new understanding of what accountability is. And there is plenty of work left to be done in our community and communities across the US.
Kelsy Smith lives in Sandy.
Rep. Christine Drazan
George Floyd mattered. His life mattered, and it never should have been taken from him. Today, a jury of his peers rightly found Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges. While the verdict does, finally, bring some measure of accountability and justice to this case, it is not the end of the conversation surrounding racial injustice. I join Americans across this country in redoubling and reaffirming our commitment to fulfilling the promise of equality and justice for all.
Drazan is House Republican Leader and irepresents House District 39 in the Oregon Legislature.
"While thousands of police officers are doing a great job of protecting us every day, what I saw on TV was confirmed by the jury. A bad police officer will be rightly punished."
Piazza is a member of the Gresham City Council.
Justice for George Floyd I pray is a pivotal moment for Americans. My hope is this verdict sets a precedence in that law enforcement understands that being the law doesn't mean you are above the law. We still have work until we ensure BIPOC receive social justice and equality. As I breathe a sigh of relief. My heart is still heavy.
Gresham Councilor Vincent Jones-Dixon — the second Black person to be elected to the role — said the work must continue following the verdict.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues on reimaging public safety and looking at the methods that we use to ensure safety in our community," he said.
Clackamas County Sheriff Sheriff Angela Brandenburg
"Today's verdict confirms we have a justice system that will hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions. No one is above the law. The many good men and women who wear their badge with honor, integrity, and compassion stand with our communities, with an ache in our hearts and a deep understanding that words are not enough. As your Sheriff, I am committed to strengthening relationships with the communities we serve through training, transparency and accountability."
Gresham Council President Eddy Morales said he hopes the verdict brings George Floyd's family, and the other families who have lost someone, a sense of peace.
"Today our courts gave validation to their loved ones who in the process have been made to be criminals or deserving of death. As someone who has lost family members in traumatic ways, I know that we never fully get peace, and our loved ones don't come back."
Morales added there is still work to be done.
"I am looking forward to working with our Council and community to provide policing reforms in Gresham so that we can be a leader and an example of a reimagined community where everyone is safe. I invite all of us to lean into this work."
Morales said a verdict is not a replacement for policy change.
"And while we waited for the verdict, a 16-year-old girl, Ma'khia Bryant, was shot and killed by police in Ohio. This killing of people by police has got to stop."
The Derek Chauvin trial was a reminder of the power that collective social and political pressure can have towards demanding & enacting accountability.
While Chauvin is one of many officers who have been involved in murder or other forms of brutality, he is unfortunately one of very few who are held accountable.
The justice system worked this time and it is vital to understand this was the "exception" rather than "rule". This trial and verdict would not have been possible if it weren't for the nation-wide (world-wide even) outpouring of protest, direct action, non-violent direct action and otherwise pressure from individuals and communities throughout.
Let us celebrate this verdict but also grieve for the life lost & realize our fight for justice is not over, nor will we be placated by this instance of long-overdue accountability. Especially when the systems-such as policing and prison-continue to exploit and benefit from said brutality, even when its at the expense of children's lives.
It is along these same lines that I hope we can each renew our commitment to justice and equality, whether that be in the big city or lil ol' Sandy, Oregon.
In love, respect, dignity, and hope.
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