Wausau residents react to Derek Chauvin verdict

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - “A weight off of my shoulders.”

That’s what some Wausau residents had to say in response to Derek Chauvin receiving a guilty verdict on three separate counts on Tuesday. Some people were happy to see the end result and believed the former Minneapolis Police officer deserved his verdict.

“It was excessive force, I think what he did was completely wrong. I think the court saw it through,” Zachary Uniat said.

Police officers have been charged and convicted before, but not very often. University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Keith Findley says this sends a message to the community.

“It is a departure from the norm simply because the norm is police officers are not convicted very often,” Findley said.

Another resident who supported the verdict was Kayley McColley, who helped organize some of the Black Lives Matter events in Wausau. She says the verdict is what they were fighting for.

“Ultimately that was what the march was about, about George Flloyd but also demanding justice. To finally have one step of accountability which is going to hopefully be a long road of reform and justice, it means a lot,” McColley said.

McColley was proud of the way that Wausau has stepped up in recent months, especially last summer with the largest march the city has ever seen. But she still believes there’s work to be done.

“I don’t know exactly what’s next, but I do know whatever we do moving forward to get justice for the Black community, I’ll be a part of,” McColley said.

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