MINNEAPOLIS | “Guilty!”: As soon as the verdict is announced on the megaphone, the crowd exults in front of the court in Minneapolis.
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More than 200 people gathered in anticipation of the news, and immediately tears began to fall on more than one face.
“Guilty of all three counts,” continues the man with his megaphone, detailing the verdict on white policeman Derek Chauvin, convicted of the murder of African-American George Floyd.
“Today we celebrate justice (delivered) for our city,” he adds.
“I can’t believe it… Guilty!” Says incredulously Lavid Mack, a 28-year-old young man perched on a concrete block to see the world come together. He didn’t think Derek Chauvin would be doomed.
A woman moves away from the crowd, and too moved to speak, falls into the arms of a friend.
Another, tears streaming down her cheeks, expresses her relief: “Now we can finally start to breathe,” says Amber Young.
“This year has been such a trauma. From now on I hope that we can heal our wounds, ”she adds.
This African-American woman now turns to another struggle: “We have to fight for Daunte Wright now,” in reference to the 20-year-old black man killed on April 11 by a white policewoman in the suburbs of Minneapolis.
With their fists in the air, a group of ten people resumed in chorus: “Black power! Black power! ”
Before the verdict was announced, a man even waved a bottle of brandy among the crowd, hoping to open it if Derek Chauvin was found guilty.
The avenue in front of the court has been cut off to traffic, and several cars that are being diverted from their path honk their horns to celebrate with the crowd.
In the weeks leading up to the verdict, tension was palpable in Minneapolis, which saw heated protests after George Floyd’s death last year.
National Guard soldiers patrolled the streets of the city during this period and almost all of the businesses surrounding the court were barricaded behind wooden planks.
Armored army vehicles all around the court, behind concrete blocks and three-meter-high gates, also testified to the sensitive nature of the trial, which is now over. There remains the sentence of the conviction of Derek Chauvin, which will be announced in a few weeks.