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Baltimore Reacts To Verdict In Derek Chauvin Case

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From Minneapolis to right here in Baltimore, people celebrated after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd.

Video Transcript

RICK RITTER: Michael, thank you. From Minneapolis to right here in Baltimore, cheers erupted around the city to celebrate the jury's verdict.

VIC CARTER: WJZ is live right now. Kelsey Kushner spoke with people here about what that moment was like for them. Kelsey.

KELSEY KUSHNER: Rick. Vic. After that verdict was read, there were several people who are cheering in the streets. We heard cars that were honking. People were singing. You really could feel that excitement and that emotion throughout the streets of Baltimore City. Now while some people say that they are excited and they are happy with this outcome, other people say this is just the first step towards a better America.

- Feeling with joy. I'm feeling happiness. I'm feeling justice.

KELSEY KUSHNER: Sounds of relief and joy flooded the streets of Baltimore City. Celebrations broke out after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd.

- We are making a new change in this country today. A new change in this country. America is not-- can't be the same.

KELSEY KUSHNER: It was a moment the world anxiously waited for.

- I was a little nervous about it at first.

- I was pleased. I smiled.

- We had-- we got some real justice just time.

KELSEY KUSHNER: Chopper 13 was overhead as crowds gathered in Baltimore City marching through the streets with signs.

- We'll clap today but we're going to keep up the fight to put the attention on this case. To make sure that Derek Chauvin sees time.

KELSEY KUSHNER: From the city to the county, the verdict sent shock waves to those watching closely.

- Finally this time, like it feels like we're getting ahead.

- I think it is well deserved and I think it's really important for us to know that he's being held responsible for what happened.

KELSEY KUSHNER: Nearly six years to the day following the uprising after the death of Freddie Gray today.

- Today, I just feel so happy.

KELSEY KUSHNER: While some say the fight for change is far from over.

- The heart and soul of what policing is has not changed. Because there's one guy goes down, he basically threw us a bone, you know. Given us this guy, but we still have to do a lot of work.

KELSEY KUSHNER: Others say it's a small step in the right direction.

- It kind of gives me hope that I can finally get pulled out without having to fear for my life.

KELSEY KUSHNER: Now in DC, members of the Congressional Black Caucus gathered to watch the verdict together. They say it is so important that the Senate approves a Police Reform Act that was passed by the House last month. They say that Bill is named in honor of George Floyd. Reporting live tonight. Kelsey Kushner for WJZ.

- Kelsey, thank you and in Annapolis, local leaders met at the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial following that verdict.

- Civil rights advocate Carol Snowden says this decision helped us move in the right direction to become a better nation.

CARL SNOWDEN: When 9/11 happened, it changed America. 9-2-9. Nine minutes and 29 seconds has changed America.

VIC CARTER: And Governor Hogan tweeting about the guilty verdict, "The senseless murder he says of George Floyd served as yet another reminder that we still have a long way to go to live up to our nation's highest ideals. Justice has now been served and we hope that this verdict will bring some measure of peace the Ford family, and the community."

RICK RITTER: In Baltimore City, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison says in part, "As a law enforcement executive, the actions and conduct of Chauvin not only failed to represent the oath to protect and to serve, but it was shocking to the consciousness to every human being that watch that video, and I believe that justice has been appropriately served."

VIC CARTER: And Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott says in part, "My heart goes out to the loved ones of George Floyd." and he says, "I hope that they find some healing in today's verdict regardless of this decision more work remains. We must honor George's legacy and join together to build an inclusive system that truly works for everyone."