SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is behind bars awaiting his sentencing for the death of George Floyd.
A jury found Chauvin guilty on murder and manslaughter charges.
Floyd’s death last year sparked protests and conversations across the country and here in KELOLAND, with people calling for racial justice and police reform.
The guilty verdict sparked strong reactions across the country.
Mark Blackburn is one of millions of people who tuned in for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
The outcome brought a sigh of relief, for a moment.
“Because I know that there’s so much work we have to do,” Community advocate Mark Blackburn said.
“One of the things that really kind of shocked me I guess about the entire thing was there was a lot of joy, a lot of happiness in the moment, but the conversation really surrounding this was, ‘Okay, now the narrative has changed.’ Well, to me the narrative hadn’t really changed yet. This is one instance. It’s one verdict and so we still have a long way to go in the fight against racism,” Community advocate Julian Beaudion said.
As the nation continues to follow developments in the case, both men say it’s also important to be active at home.
“Even in our cities and state here there are terminology, there’s things that need to be eradicated,” Blackburn said.
Julian Beaudion encourages people to reach out to local and state leaders.
“We can’t get complacent. We cannot be in a situation to where we are overjoyed simply by the one-off situation. We know that there are far many more families out there that are hurting, far many more families out there that are seeking justice, and we have to continue to fight.,” Beaudion said.
Blackburn says ways for people to get involved include attending events, seminars, and workshops.
“I want people to be invested in this. I know everybody has friends or family members or people who are affected by this racial injustice and some of these wrongful killings and some of these different things and so how can we come together in every city or every aspect that we are and make sure that we make a difference,” Blackburn said.