Family of Jacob Blake, others find hope in Chauvin verdict

A jury Tuesday, April 20 found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in connection to the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

Milwaukee was watching the verdict almost as closely as those in Minneapolis. Overlooking the intersection of Holton and North in Milwaukee, a mural of Floyd was a site of celebration, reflection and hope on Tuesday.

"It's a historic day," said Dr. Eve Hall, president and CEO of Milwaukee Urban League. "I just praise the jury for their courage, for their boldness, for their commitment to justice, because what we all witnessed last year was something that you just could not argue against."

Hall said the moment is monumental.

"It is an important day for our young people, because since that day there have been so many questions from our young people, from our young men, about the treatment especially about Black and brown males in this country," Hall said.

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The verdict also hit close to home for Justin Blake, whose nephew Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha police officer in August 2020.

"For all the African decedents and community in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha…this is the day of reckoning," Justin Blake said.

Still, he said, there is much more work that needs to be done.

"It's the beginning of the end," said Blake.

George Floyd (L) and Derek Chauvin (R) (Background Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Likewise, Hall said her organization will continue to be part of conversations that work to tackle systemic racism and policing policies at home and across the nation.

"The conversations need to continue. I think the next steps are to be very intentional around changing policy. To be very intentional around accountability," Hall said.

Hall is also calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which aims to implement policies that would end racial profiling, build trust between communities and police departments, among other recommendations.

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