WASHINGTON (WDVM) — A crowd gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was announced on Tuesday, April 20.
Many major cities, including the Nation’s Capital, planned for possible protests after the verdict was made, but the group was celebrating. One District resident, Willie Smith, said, “When I saw (the verdict announcement), I just broke down because I was so relieved.” Annmarie Henderson added, “It just means positivity to me.”
The positivity flowed through B.L.M. Plaza as residents came together to remember George Floyd and honor his memory. Smith explained, “I feel like justice was finally served and we were actually heard as a people.”
The feelings of joy were almost overwhelming for some. Henderson explained, while pointing to strangers walking up with “Black Lives Matter” signs, “I’m seeing that. Thank you! Thank you! That’s what I’m seeing, and people are coming down here like that for real, to stand in the truth. Oh my God. I’m seeing goodness!”
D.C. Congresswoman Candidate Reverend Wendy Hamilton was among the group at the plaza. She said, “We’ve been through so much in the last year and a half that I was afraid that if this verdict went another way, it was going to rip the wound open again that, in the last few months at least, I feel has started to heal some.” With the guilty verdict, Reverend Hamilton explained that the healing can continue.
“We can rejoice in today, and we should, because we haven’t had a lot of glimmers of hope, but we have them at least for today, so we should. But, tomorrow, the work begins again,” Reverend Hamilton added.