Detroit activists celebrate guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin trial

Chauvin convicted of 2 murder charges, 1 manslaughter charge in death of George Floyd

Detroit activists celebrate Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

DETROIT – In the days following George Floyd’s death in May 2020, protestors took to the streets across the United States, including in Detroit, demanding change within police departments.

After Tuesday’s guilty verdict in the case against former Officer Derek Chauvin, many of the same people who protested last summer gathered at the Detroit Police Department Headquarters to celebrate.

“Real justice is when this becomes the norm and not the exception,” said Tristan Taylor.

READ: Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges in George Floyd’s murder

READ: Reactions from local leaders pour in after Derek Chauvin found guilty in George Floyd’s death

Taylor as well as Nakia Wallace helped form Detroit Will Breathe -- a direct reference of Floyd. The group of protestors grew daily, clashed with police at times and demanded change.

“The guilty verdict that came down was because of the movement, it wasn’t because of the the courts. We’ve seen courts not do its job in delivering justice. What was different about this was how people responded,” Taylor said.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig -- often at odds with the protestors -- was on the same sideline Tuesday.

“It’s still a stain on our profession. We had to deal with weeks and months of, at times, violent protests. But at the end of the day, the right thing was done,” Craig said.

Wallace helped rally the group at DPD this time in celebration.

“It feels like a victory because we came out here and all over the country in order to demand change and in order to demand that Chauvin be held accountable,” she said. “Knowing that that’s only happening because of the fact that all over country we took to the streets and demanded it, that’s a good feeling.”

About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.