HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — After a Minnesota jury found Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd, Virginia NAACP President Robert Barnette called it the first small step toward rebuilding trust between police and the Black community.
“I was hoping that the jury had enough evidence to come to a verdict that they believe was true and fair,” Barnette told 8News.
He explained what went through his mind when he saw a news alert of the “guilty” verdict appear on his phone Tuesday afternoon. “That the community as a whole and the nation would be satisfied at the verdict,” said Barnette.
He believes the jury saw enough evidence, through hours of video and testimony, to come to a fair conclusion. However, he said there is much more work to be done.
“With the number of incidents and fatalities experienced in the community, the communities have lost trust in law enforcement and we got to build back that trust because all law enforcement is not bad,” Barnette said.
In the meantime, the guilty verdict strengthened Barnette’s faith in the criminal justice system. “Our system worked as it was designed to work and justice was served,” he said.
Barnette added that the NAACP is pushing to end qualified immunity. They believe this would change the behavior of law enforcement officers to prevent incidents like George Floyd’s murder and the treatment of Army Lt. Caron Nazario during a traffic stop in Windsor last year from happening.