On Tuesday, America heard the verdict on the trial of Derek Chauvin, over 300 days after George Floyd’s death.
Chauvin, a former officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, was convicted of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter over the death of Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes. This event caused reactions to erupt from people everywhere.
While some of these organizations who have released statements are on a national level, others are local. Showing that this trial not only had an impact on those in Minneapolis but on people far and wide.
Oklahoma State University’s NAACP President Brenden Determann said while he has a sense of relief on this overdue result, when watching the trial he was somewhat scared of the outcome.
“I had a rush of anxiety the entire way through,” Determann said.
For Determan, the trial was important because it's eye-opener when it comes to the law enforcement policies in place, and can serve as a steppingstone in holding law enforcement accountable. Even though Determann would like to see change, he feels this is more of a step in the right direction.
“Change is inevitable but never imminent,” Determann said. “This will take a collective effort from all parties from both sides as these are lives that are being taken away from us right in front of our eyes. I am hopeful for the future that we as leaders will continue to set the pace and never let it dwindle prior to what it has become.
OSU President Burns Hargis released a statement on the historic verdict saying this event calls for a time of “introspection and recognition” of the pain marginalized members of the community and nation. Saying OSU values diversity, inclusion and equity.
“I urge the entire Cowboy community to embrace each other in unity and join our nation in its journey of healing – recognizing that much work remains to be done,” Hargis said. “The Cowboy family must remain committed to pursuing positive change and standing against racism in our society.”
While the trial has made an impact in Stillwater, Oklahoma, it also has prompted national organizations to respond. The Fraternal Order of Police, a fraternal organization consisting of 356,000 sworn officers in more 2,100 lodges,released a statement saying the justice system proceeded as it should. Saying the trial was “fair and due process was served.”
In the statement it also says the First Amendment freedoms are sacred and urges people to see law enforcement officers as people who are there to protect. Finishing up the statements the organization said for people to be safe and make good decisions when exercising their rights.