Black Political Leaders In Pittsburgh Express Relief For Derek Chauvin Conviction

KDKA's Meghan Schiller has more.

Video Transcript

KYM GABLE: We continue our team coverage right now with KDKA's Meghan Schiller. She was with members of the Black Political Empowerment Project as that verdict was read today. Meghan.

MEGHAN SCHILLER: Kym, and members with the local branch of the NAACP. Right now, we're along Wylie Avenue. People have been driving up and down this street, as well as Kirkpatrick Street, honking their horns. Some people even pulling over, wanting to give interviews and to give their opinion to this verdict.

I'm right in front of the building that we were inside. It's a small room inside there. That was the BPEP press conference that started around 5 o'clock. Different community leaders had gathered inside the room to talk about that very thing, about police reform. The head of BPEP had told me earlier in the day that he did not think a verdict was going to come down today. Turns out that we were then all in that small room at the moment that the verdict came down.

So it was a surreal moment, I have to say, to be in the room with the head of the Black Political Empowerment Project, the NAACP president here in Pittsburgh, the Police Citizens Review Board executive director, pastors, and community members from here in Pittsburgh when news broke that the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts. We immediately switched gears in the room, and we asked for reaction on the verdict. So take a listen to what they had to say.

TIM STEVENS: It's a very powerful moment for America. To be honest, when the trial ended, my stomach was in knots just wondering what was going to happen. And I think millions of people across America-- whatever race, creed, color, or whatever-- were wondering what was going to happen.

BETH PITTINGER: It's truly a moment that reflects what I trust is a pro-community police relations decision, a verdict, that reinforces and says that the double standard will no longer be readily available, that our police officers can have more faith that they will be safer because the bad cops will be held accountable.

MEGHAN SCHILLER: And you could really hear the emotion in both of their speaking voices. BPEP's Tim Stevens, he really took a moment before he started to talk to let it all sink in, to let the news sink in. And Beth Pittinger, before she said what you had just heard, she started to cry. So they said definitely a very emotional moment and one that they both were relieved to have heard.