Local leaders weigh in on impact of Derek Chauvin’s potential verdict
It's a verdict that has the entire nation watching, the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin coming to an end.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) –It’s a verdict that has the entire nation watching, the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin coming to an end.
“This trial is going to set the tone for the next 15 to 20 years on how African Americans and police in communites and people that police those communities react towards one another,” Rev. Tremaine Combs with Mount Zion Baptist Church, said.
Almost a year ago, the nation was hurt, traumatized, and angry about the death of George Floyd, sparking protest and riots that left cities in turmoil.
Now, local community leaders believe, it could all happen again.
“For many people seeking justice, there is an outcry. There is an outcry, this is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong. And when that outcry is not met, then that becomes an outrage. That outrage manifests itself in an anger,” Pastor John Leonard Harris said.
Both Harris and Combs say if a not guilty verdict is produced, that outcry will be louder this time. Those who filled the streets demanding justice for George Floyd will feel defeated in their fight for systemic change.
“If we get a not guilty verdict, then there I would say, there is no hope that the system will do the right thing,” Rev. Combs said.
Both say people will feel called to protest again and while they ask that it remains peaceful and everyone remains safe, they offer the reminder that not everyone will be protesting for the same reasons.
“Even as the protests do manifest themselves, there needs to be a watchful eye. Particularly for those who are, who will be watching, to understand that there will be people protesting, and there will be people who will be rioting. They’re not the same people,” Pastor Harris said.
Like many cities, Lincoln Police say they are prepared for protest. While they support people voicing their opinions, they do ask people do so, peacefully.