K-State plan vigil, counseling sessions in anticipation of Chauvin verdict

Apr. 19—Kansas State University will host counseling sessions and a vigil later this week in anticipation of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.

The prosecution and defense planned to give their closing arguments on Monday. Chauvin, a former police officer, faces second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes on May 25, 2020.

"As we have witnessed before, decisions in these cases have the potential to cause pain, social unrest and violence," K-State President Richard Myers said in a written statement Monday. "While we can't predict or control the outcome of this trial, we can determine our response to the jury's decision. We call upon the K-State Community to approach this situation with a thoughtful, peaceful reaction, regardless of your opinions."

K-State has planned four counseling sessions in the Phillip 66 Atrium of the Morris Family Multicultural Student Center:

— Friday, 4-5 p.m.

— April 26, 2-5 p.m.

— April 27, 2-5 p.m.

— April 28, 2-5 p.m

The university will hold a vigil/moment of silence and solidarity Friday at 3 p.m. in the Ray Dempsey Plaza at the Morris Family Multicultural Student Center.

Floyd's death last year sparked calls for justice across the country, including in Manhattan.

The city had several days of peaceful protest, including one with around 2,000 protestors marching down Bluemont.

This also led to K-State students calling for university administrators to better handle incidents of racism and bigotry on campus after a former student posted a controversial joke on social media about Floyd in June.