SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Millions of people watched as former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder and manslaughter by a jury for the killing of George Floyd.
Around the country thousands of people took to the streets after a the guilty verdict in the Chauvin trail in Minnesota. However, Bishop Talbert Swan, the president of the Springfield NAACP told 22News he cautions people celebrating.
“This was an anomaly, one of those rare cases in which an officer is actually convicted for the murder of a black person,” said Chauvin.
Swan says he was expecting a different outcome for the verdict and the guilty on all counts verdict was a sense of relief but that the fight is not over.
“We’re yet to see whether or not a judge gives him a punishment that fits the crime,” said Swan.
Citing that previous officers convicted of murdering Black men have received 10 or less years in prison. Swan noted that White mass murders such as Dylann Roof was apprehended without injury. He said justice in America would be where everyone is treated fairly.
“Policing in America is still largely based upon race and ethnicity and the perception of officers that hold the lives of people in their hand,” said Swan.
So where does Springfield come in when it comes to all of this? And What do local leaders say need to be done to further equality after this monumental verdict?
Swan replied, “Appoint a police commission so that there’s a higher level of accountability and real civilian review.”
Many people say this is not a ending or a victory but a step forward in the fight.