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Derek Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck as Floyd died on May 25, 2020. Floyd's killing led to weeks of protests in cities across the United States and led to a national reckoning on systemic racism and police brutality. Chauvin's trial on second-degree murder and related charges began in March 2021.

Here's How Leaders In Charlotte And The Carolinas Reacted To The Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict

Priscilla Gyamfi

WFAE reached out to local leaders and organizers for their reaction to the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd. Here’s what some of them had to say.

Charlotte Democratic Congresswoman Alma Adams

“Justice was served today, and while that will not bring back George Floyd or the countless thousands lost to state-sanctioned violence, it means the millions of Americans struggling, fighting to breathe free are closer to living in a just, beloved community. Thank you to the judge, the jurors, and the officers of the court for your work.”

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles

Kass Ottley, activist and founder of Seeking Justice CLT

Kass Ottley, Activist and Founder of Seeking Justice CLT

“I'm just very excited, happy, emotional, just had a cry, you know, just watched so many cases, been to so many court cases and watched Lady Justice get dressed up and she's never arrived. And this is the first time that she actually showed up. I feel like this can really be a turning point. And I'm just hopeful and excited that the family got justice and not just a paycheck.”

Robert Dawkins, political director of Action NC

Robert Dawkins, Political Director Action NC

“It’s great. The part is, the chances of ever having another case like this to where you have the police chief, you have the police officers, you got EMS on site that didn't get a chance to intervene or you got the footage of them with a foot on George Floyd's neck. We probably will never have another incident where the evidence was so great that even though we suffer from a system of oppression and racism, that there was no way possible that he was going to be able to get off.”

The Fraternal Order of the Police in Charlotte

The Fraternal Order of the Police in Charlotte Retweeted a statement from the national FOP that said “Our system of justice has worked as it should, with prosecutors and defense presenting their evidence to the jury, which then deliberated and delivered a verdict. The trial was fair and due process was served.”

The Charlotte chapter said it had no other comment.

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings

Mecklenburg Sheriff Garry McFadden

McFadden said in a statement that the jury “worked to hold Chauvin accountable for his criminal actions, we know the decision will never return Mr. Floyd to his friends, family and community.”

Anthony Foxx, former Charlotte mayor and secretary of transportation for President Obama

Mario Black, founder of Million Youth March of Charlotte and Salisbury

"A sense of relief, for one," he said. "When the protests broke out last year, it was just so disheartening to even watch that eight-minute video, nine-minute video of George Floyd on the ground."

Black said he's been encouraged by protests around the country and around the world against police brutality, not just by Black people, but also by white people, Asian people and people of other races and ethnicities.

"I just thank God that justice prevailed," he said. "And it's a step in the right direction. You know, we still got others that didn't get the justice that was needed. And hopefully moving forward, other families will get the justice that they deserve or need, too because we continue to see police shootings in African American community."

Charlotte City Council member Malcolm Graham

“The tape doesn’t lie," he said. "It shows exactly what happened — a police officer under the cover of uniform basically killing someone in broad daylight. I think the prosecution put on a great case. And with the tape as well as with the evidence that was presented I was optimistic the jury would come back with a guilty verdict.”

Graham compared the verdict to the O.J. Simpson trial. He said in that case the evidence also pointed to the defendant being guilty.

Gov. Roy Cooper

Rev. William Barber

Barber later deleted the above tweet, removing its reference to first-degree murder, and said this instead:

South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott

Rhiannon Giddens, musician and North Carolina native

WFAE's David Boraks and Steve Harrison contributed.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Maria Ramirez Uribe is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race, equity and immigration for WFAE and La Noticia, an independent Spanish-language news organization based in Charlotte.