‘I felt like it was time for justice to be served,’ RGV community reacts to Chauvin verdict

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HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The jury deliberation in the trial of Derek Chauvin lasted less than 24 hours, and the judge read out their decision Tuesday afternoon. Although the courthouse was far from the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), residents shared their action to the verdict.

Three words captivated the nation: Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three charges brought against him for the death of George Floyd. Second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

For bishop Michael Smith of Faith Fellowship Church in McAllen, it was a welcomed close to a yearlong saga.

“I was happy that that verdict came down because I felt like it was time for justice to be served and they actually served it today. Actually, I thank God for it,” said the pastor and founder of Faith Fellowship Church.

Others in the Rio Grande Valley community worry that one decision won’t bring about the change so many hope for across the country.

“There’s still some cops that don’t understand what it is to actually just hear someone out and do your job and listen,” said Christian Serna, a barber at The Barber Studio in Harlingen.

The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin brought race relations to the forefront of America and caused demands for change all over the country.

Shortly after the verdict was read by Judge Peter Cahill, President Joe Biden gave a short speech in praising the decision by the jury in convicting Derek Chauvin.

President Biden said that Floyd’s death “unified people of every race and generation with peace and with a purpose to say ‘enough, enough, enough of the senseless killings.'”

Locally, people understand that more work needs to be done to bridge a growing divide between police and the public.

“Myself, I have police officers as clients and they’re good people, I don’t say nothing bad, but there are still some that take it over the limit,” said Serna.

Tuesday was a step forward for those who want to see the police have more accountability for their actions.

“I think based on the verdict today, I really believe that God is speaking to our nation. That we all need to recognize each other as equals, and then at that point, we can move forward,” said Smith.

Judge Peter Cahill said Derek Chauvin’s sentencing will take place in around eight weeks. Chauvin’s bail has been revoked, and he will wait for sentencing in jail.

It is expected that Chauvin will appeal the verdicts that he received.

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