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'This day is worth it' Baltimore activists react to Chauvin verdict

'This day is worth it' Baltimore activists react to verdict
'This day is worth it' Baltimore activists react to verdict
Posted at 10:03 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 07:32:46-04

BALTIMORE — For Rev. Annie Chambers the conviction of Derek Chauvin was validation of a lifetime on the front lines.

“I’m telling y’all I been out here since I was 14 years old and I’m 79 now and all those years I been out here it’s worth it. This day is worth it.”

On Tuesday Chambers and members of the Peoples Power Assembly gathered in Charles Village after the verdict was read.

It’s difficult for them to call a conviction a victory even though, it was at least what a lot of people were hoping for.

While the vision is forward a lot of people are looking back at the names Freddie Gray and the Tyrone West who died in police custody right here in Baltimore.

Tawanda Jones has been fighting against police brutality every day since her brother Tyrone West died in police custody 7 years ago.

“When I think about Derek Chauvin getting indicted convicted and sent to jail some of these killed cops need to go," Jones said. "We got a Derek Chauvin; David Lewis is still walking the beat. He sat on my brothers back as he was dying.”

They marched to City Hall with a mission to tell city leaders that they expect more than just words after this ruling.

“If you’re police and you ain’t doing your job you need to lose your job," said Duane "Shorty" Davis. "Police came into conception in Baltimore in 1778, they were slave catching then and they slave catching now.”

“It took millions and millions of people throughout as well as the police officers testifying finally against one of them because it was egregious that it was hard for them to do anything else," said Bill Goodin.

“We need all of these cops who murder black people to get convicted and go to jail and know they can’t do this no more," said Lee Patterson.

Marah O’Neal lost the father of her children during an encounter with police.

“Getting pulled over by police, we fear that," said O'Neal. "Any police stop we fear for whatever reason it is. Yes, the verdict was guilty today, but it should be guilty all the time.”

Not a victory or a celebration— but still hope that this verdict could be the start of something.

“We got justice, just a little bit," said Chambers. "But we done kicked the door and we going in. We done kicked in the door and it’s open and we going to move in now.”

Chauvin’s sentencing is expected for 8 weeks from now.

He’s facing a maximum of 75 years in prison, but experts say he's likely to get a sentence much shorter than that.