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Local reaction following guilty verdict for former officer Derek Chauvin

Chauvin verdict reading
Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 07:18:38-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

The jury returned the unanimous verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Following the verdict, reaction from around the country began pouring in. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly called the Floyd family from the Oval office. Former President Obama issued a statement, as did organizations like the National Basketball Association.

News 5's Colette Bordelon was gathering local reaction to the verdict and trial Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon she spoke with several individuals from the Colorado Springs community.

Local reaction following guilty verdict for former officer Derek Chauvin

One was JJ Frazier, the chair of LETAC, or the Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission.

"Justice has been served, which proves the lives of African-American men do matter," Frazier said. "But it goes deeper. You can blame drugs, you can blame single-parent homes, you can blame poverty. All of these are life experiences that may or may not contribute, but right is right and wrong is wrong. They do not justify invalidating a person's life."

Colette also spoke to Stephany Rose Spaulding, a professor at UCCS.

"This will be a moment in American society where we really begin to talk about accountability versus justice because this is a moment of accountability, it is not a moment of justice," Spaulding said.

"We have the possibility of a tipping point if we really commit beyond accountability to justice, right? If we begin to lean into dealing with the work of rooting out that racism and telling the truth to ourselves and hearing it, then this can be a transformative moment," she added.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued the following statement following the verdict.

“Less than a year ago, the world watched in horror as George Floyd’s life was taken from him. In the days and weeks following his tragic murder, millions of Americans took to the streets to make their voices heard, saying enough is enough. Today, we see a glimmer of hope, a glimpse of justice, but we know we are nowhere near the end of this road. This verdict does not bring back George Floyd. True justice would mean having him here with us today. Let us acknowledge this victory and use this inflection point to bend the arc of social equality toward lasting justice so this doesn’t happen again. My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd, who have been forced to relive this tragedy far too many times, and to the families of countless other Black Americans who have been forced to say goodbye too soon.”

Tuesday evening, President Biden and Vice President Harris spoke about the situation.

Following the verdict, Chauvin's bail was revoked and his sentencing is expected in eight weeks.

Chauvin has opted to have the judge decide if any of the sentences should be lengthened because of factors, and there will be a presentence investigation to determine if there should be sentence enhancements. In Minnesota, second-degree murder has a possible sentence of 10-40 years, third-degree murder is 10-25 years and second-degree manslaughter has a possible sentence of about 3 to 10 years.