COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The local community is reacting Tues. following former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty on two murder charges and one manslaughter charge in the death of George Floyd.
”It’s a long time coming. It is possible to have and get justice,” said Freddie Williams.
“To finally get that little sense of hope and just that hope for some change can finally come. We haven’t felt that in a very long time and especially in my lifetime,” Kamryn Tate said.
“I think with everything going on with Daunte Wright and everything I just want to see actual convictions for police officers and it not taking months. They’re people as well. They deserve to be charged with crimes when they commit them just like we do,” added another community member.
“Based on the amount of evidence that was presented I knew in my heart that if they looked at the evidence that they would have to rule the way that they did,” said Muscogee Co. Sheriff Greg Countryman.
Sheriff Countryman says moving forward, the conversation about policing in the 21st century needs to be continued.
“I think that this is an opportunity for us to heal. This is an opportunity for us to talk about a number of things that we’ve witnessed throughout the this incident in Minnesota. I think that this is a sigh of relief for our nation,” he explained.
Sheriff Countryman says although this happened in Minnesota, the whole world was watching and the verdict shows our judicial system does work.
Georgia Senator Randy Robertson, who has an extensive law enforcement background, says he’s not surprised by the guilty verdicts.
“I’m hoping that now that people see the system does work that they will understand the role of law enforcement and these men and women will feel somewhat easier for getting out and engaging in tapping down this rise in violent crime not only in West Georgia, but in Atlanta and a lot of cities around the country,” Sen. Robertson said.
He says he hopes people use this example of due process as a learning experience.
“Not only citizens who come in contact with officers millions of times a day, but that law enforcement also looks at this and sees it as the opportunity to re-evaluate the way we do a lot of things, which I think we’ve all been doing since this incident occured,” he explained.