Pittsburghers Gather At Freedom Corner After Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty

Pittsburghers have gathered at Freedom Corner after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd. KDKA's Andy Sheehan has more.

Video Transcript

STACY SMITH: We continue our team coverage now with Andy Sheehan. He is live at Freedom Corner in the Hill District, where activists had promised to gather regardless of the verdict. So Andy, did they show up?

ANDY SHEEHAN: Well, they did show up and about 150 people are here behind me. And they've gathered here. They've started some speeches. They're playing music. It's a sense of, I would say, some subdued jubilation. You know, it's kind of more of a sense of relief than an actual celebration that Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all three counts.

Now, there are police here and they've stayed at a distance. But it doesn't look like they will so much be needed tonight. The police yesterday had told us that they were prepared for any events and any verdict, that they were prepared for all possibilities, that they would strike a balance between the right to protest and the rights of other people to be protected. But it doesn't look like, gauging from the mood here, that that will be a problem.

There's going to be speeches here. There will also be one of those roving marches. Apparently they are going to head up to Schenley Park. But it doesn't appear that there will be any need for any kind of crackdown on them at all.

At this point, you know, what people are saying-- that this is a watershed moment. This is a moment of justice and change. But it's also what leaders here are calling a beginning-- a beginning of change in America, and maybe a place to pivot. A little while ago, I spoke with the activist Randall Taylor, who echoed those sentiments.

RANDALL TAYLOR: Man, I'm relieved. I mean one, I'm relieved because I was so afraid of what would happen if it did not come back guilty. So I was very fearful of that. But it's justice. And I'm not saying people are going to believe in the system 100%, but at least we're taking some steps toward people being able to regain confidence in the system.

- I just want to quickly say welcome to everyone--

ANDY SHEEHAN: So tonight, what's this going to be? This is going to be a peaceful-- What is this going to be?

RANDALL TAYLOR: It's absolutely peaceful. 99.9% of our marches last year were peaceful. So this is peaceful and we're going to March up to the park and have some food and just be grateful that we feel the right thing happened for our country.

ANDY SHEEHAN: Well as I say it's kind of a sense of relief and a sort of a subdued celebration here. There is going to be a march, but people are taking this as, you know, a sense of hope and a sense of a new beginning.

Reporting live in the Hill District, Andy Sheehan, KDKA news.