DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton community leaders say Tuesday’s verdict finding former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges is a step in the right direction in improving relationships with law enforcement.
“Now it’s time for Chauvin to suffer behind the jail cells of prison, it’s time for him to face his reality,” said Dr. Derrick Foward, president of Dayton Unit NAACP.
Foward said moments after Chauvin was found guilty the Black community began celebrating the verdict.
“The verdict was a jubilee, it was a joyous occasion because finally Black and brown people like myself have an opportunity to witness justice,” said Foward. “We are very thankful the verdict was guilty on all three counts.”
Bishop Richard Cox, a leader at A Better Dayton Organization, believes Tuesday’s verdict was a step in the right direction, but that there’s still a long way to go.
“There was justice taking the first step in the right direction, but not full justice,” said Cox. “We still have to get justice for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo and victims from police violence.
Legal experts, like Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a professor of law at the University of Dayton, say the officers that testified in the trial want to send a message of clarity to the country.
“You’re going to have some bad apples, so this wasn’t an indictment of law enforcement, but an indictment of one bad apple,” said Hoffmeister. “What I did see that was different, not seen in other trials, you had a lot of stand up police officers that held them accountable and said this wasn’t proper procedure.”
Hoffmeister believes having the trial televised gave the community a chance to see how the system works and to form their own opinions for themselves.