Cheers and tears in George Floyd Square as guilty verdict read: ‘Today is the beginning of the healing work’

Cheers erupted in George Floyd Square as Judge Peter Cahill read the verdict: Derek Chauvin was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder.

People cried, hugged and chanted Floyd’s name. “We got what we want!” one yelled. 

The intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue – now known as George Floyd Square – has become a makeshift memorial to Floyd and a space for community healing after Floyd was killed at that location last May.

As people tossed handfuls of dollar bills into the air nearby, Jennifer Starr Dodd was in tears, embracing her friends who are encouraging her to drink water. Her legs shook. She said the verdict gives her hope and she’s ready to heal and make a change. She said its a signal that her life and her children’s lives matter. 

“I’m in shock,” she said, minutes after the verdict was read. “We matter, you know, they see us and they see our pain. Today is the beginning of the healing work.”Starr Dodd, who is at the square almost every day doing community work, said she was too anxious to expect a guilty verdict. 

Marcia Howard and other Minneapolis community members hug in celebration after hearing the verdict of Derek Chauvin at George Floyd Square on Tuesday. (Photo: Harrison Hill)

‘This means everything’: Minneapolis joyfully chants George Floyd’s name after Derek Chauvin is found guilty of murder

“It’s always been no in the past and today, it’s been yes.” She said.

Before the verdict was announced, dozens of journalists gathered outside the Cup Foods where Floyd died last Memorial Day. A handful of residents and community activists who have frequented the square since then stood around a fire. Tables were filled with baked goods for the growing crowd.

Kendra Waldauer came to the square earlier Tuesday, as she has frequently since last June. She was announced to the growing crowd that a verdict was coming.

Waldauer and her son Zach, who is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota, hoped Chauvin would be found guilty on all counts but knew historically officers have not been held accountable.

“It’s impossible to think that he won’t be guilty,” Waldauer said, while holding up a portrait of Floyd. “I have to have hope.”

“It’s what we’ve been waiting for,” she said. 

She watched the entire trial and said it felt like “gaslighting us over and over telling us he wasn’t murdered when we watched him be murdered in front of our eyes.” 

 “We’re experiencing history in the making,” Zach Waldauer said, comparing it to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He said he’s not nervous but compared the feeling to the night before a big exam. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

Source: Read Full Article