Tears of joy, relief after conviction in George Floyd murder case

Tears of joy, relief after conviction in George Floyd murder case

Tears of joy, relief after conviction in Floyd murder case (1)
People react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial on Apr 20, 2021 In Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP)

MINNEAPOLIS: "Guilty!": As the jury's murder conviction against white ex-policeman Derek Chauvin was relayed on a loudspeaker Tuesday (Apr 21), the crowd in front of the Minneapolis courthouse erupted in joy and relief.

More than 200 people had gathered to hear the verdict for the man accused of killing African-American George Floyd, a case that sparked protests against racial injustice around the world.

"Guilty on all three counts," a man announced over a megaphone, and tears streamed down more than one face in the crowd. "Today we celebrate justice for our city," he added.

READ: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin convicted of murder in George Floyd case

READ: George Floyd: 'Gentle giant' who became symbol of fight against racism

"I can't believe it ... guilty," said 28-year-old Lavid Mack, who stood on a concrete block to get a better view of the gathering. He had not thought Chauvin would be found guilty.

A woman stepped out of the crowd, too moved to speak and fell into the arms of a friend.

George Floyd Officer Trial Houston
Ceci Munoz sits in the street as she cries and reacts at Yates High School, Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021, in Houston, after learning that former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (Photo: Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Another woman, her eyes brimming with tears, voiced her relief: "Now we can finally start to breathe," said Amber Young.

"This year has been so traumatic, I'm now hoping for some healing," she said.

Fists in the air, a group of a dozen people started chanting, "Black power! Black power!"

READ: What are the charges against Derek Chauvin in George Floyd death?

Before the verdict was announced, one man was waving a bottle of brandy in the crowd, hoping to open it if Chauvin was found guilty.

The road in front of the court house was closed to traffic and several vehicles that were turned away honked their horns in support of the crowd.

George Floyd Officer Trial
People celebrate after a guilty verdict was announced at the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021, in Minneapolis. (Photo: AP/Morry Gash)

In the past week, tensions had been mounting in Minneapolis, which was rocked by massive protests following Floyd's death last year.

Troops from the National Guard have been patrolling the tense city and most of the businesses had boarded up their storefronts just in case unrest broke out again.

The court house itself was surrounded by armored vehicles, concrete walls and 10-foot high metal fencing, a testament to the sensitivity of the case that ignited the largest protests over race and police brutality in a generation.

Source: AFP/ic

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