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How Are Vermonters Feeling About The Chauvin Verdict? Here's What You Told Us

A memorial site with flowers, candles, a black lives matter image and a sign reading justice for george floyd.
Sarah Priestap
VPR File
Mourners of George Floyd and the Black men and women killed by police leave flowers and candles at a memorial in the parking lot of Babe's Bar during a vigil in Bethel on June 2, 2020.

As former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, Vermonters have been processing the emotions that come with such a conviction.

VPR asked you how you are feeling about the verdict. Here's what you had to say:

“Watching the verdict, I had several reactions all at once. I was so relieved and grateful for the conviction. It was a moment of absolute accountability that many, many other people who've lost their lives at the hands of the police have never been granted. And I wasn't entirely sure the country could survive an acquittal. And it seemed like there was a huge collective longing being met. This was accountability. Real justice is still quite a ways off.”

- Kathryn Blume, Charlotte

“I'm feeling incredibly relieved about the verdict, but at the same time, that feels ridiculous to have to be relieved over something that should have been so cut and dry. The entire nation saw George Floyd get murdered, and yet it was still up in the air as to whether or not Derek Chauvin would be found guilty. This is the bare minimum, right? And this is absolutely the bare minimum, that people would be held accountable for murder. I hope — I'm trying to be hopeful that this is a step in the right direction, and that it means there will be some change and accountability in policing. But I don't think it's justice. I think George Floyd is still dead. I think real justice will only come when the BIPOC community doesn't have to be afraid of police, when they're not killed at such an outrageous rate. When you just think about all the people who have been killed since George Floyd, even just recently, even just when the verdict was being read, a young woman was murdered by police in Ohio, right? A 16-year-old. It feels relieving that he was found guilty, but at the same time, it's such a low bar. It's such a low bar. So trying to remain hopeful.”

- Christine St. Clair, Milton

More from VPR: Tabitha Moore On What Should Come After Chauvin Conviction: 'Massive Structural Change'

“When I saw the Chauvin verdict, I felt relieved, I think. We've seen other cases like this that should have come to the same conclusion and did not. It's obviously not a happy feeling. No matter what the verdict is, there's still a man that was murdered, but there's a hopeful feeling, that hopefully things will change in the near future.”

- Alicia Carter, Milton

“I'm not feeling relief today. I'm feeling like a breath I've been holding for a year, I've finally been able to exhale it. And the irony of that statement is not lost on me. The irony that George Floyd was not allowed the same privilege of exhaling is not lost on me. I see a lot of my friends, most of whom are white, celebrating on social media today. And I get that, I get this feels like a win, but a consequence for inaction is not a win. We lost Ma’Khiah Bryant 20 minutes before the verdict was read, in Ohio, by police officer involved violence. And the systemic problems that we have in this country relating to policing, the exorbitant amount of control that police unions have over our justice system, hasn't been ameliorated at all. And until those things happen, I don't feel like I can feel relief. I don't feel like any of us should be celebrating, because this fight is so far from over. And I know I'm tired, and I know that the people of color in my life who I love are tired. And I hope that this is a precedent. And it's not just a figurehead.”

- Brooke Dooley, Burlington

Have questions, comments or tips?Send us a message or tweet engagement producer Myra Flynn @MyraFlynn.

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Myra Flynn joined Vermont Public in March 2021 and is the DEIB Advisor, Host and Executive Producer of Homegoings. Raised in Vermont, Myra Flynn is an accomplished musician who has come to know the lay of dirt-road land that much more intimately through touring both well-known and obscure stages all around the state and beyond. She also has experience as a teaching artist and wore many hats at the Burlington Free Press, including features reporter and correspondent, before her pursuits took her deep into the arts world. Prior to joining Vermont Public, Myra spent eight years in the Los Angeles music industry.
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