MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than a dozen community groups organized a protest in downtown Minneapolis after Monday’s court proceedings in the Derek Chauvin trial.
The crowd gathered at the Hennepin County Government Center, then marched through the streets of downtown Minneapolis. Protesters said they were demonstrating for, and demanding, accountability both inside the courtroom for Chauvin and outside it, for all police.
Feelings of anger and indignation mixed with a profound sense of loss, signified in part by dozens of padlocks fastened to the security fencing around the government center. Each padlock had a name of a person killed by police.
“For far too long, we have ignored police brutality,” said Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR Minnesota.
For many, Monday was the first time in a long time they’d watched the video of George Floyd’s death. It was played during the trial’s opening statements.
“For myself and a lot of the other families, it’s traumatizing,” said Toshira Garroway of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence.
Nikia Clark, another protester, said the video is never something she really forgets about.
“You still remember, but those emotions that we felt last year when it first happened, it was like it all just came back,” Clark said.
Protest organizers called for Chauvin’s conviction and a maximum sentence. They also had a bigger picture in mind.
“In the state of Minnesota right now, we have eight bills that could potentially be a starting bill that allows families and community members to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” Hussein said.
The proposals include getting rid of qualified immunity, which would allow families to sue police, and requiring officers to have insurance, like how medical doctors do.
Tamika Williams of Teach Everyone a Method said she was out in the streets “for the justice of any Black person that has ever been mistreated.”
Garroway said there was an opportunity with the trial “to show the world that an African American man, a Black man’s life is valued.”
Once the march started, a full-size casket was left behind in the middle of the street. Written on it was “For all who weren’t filmed, won’t get a trial, haven’t received justice, whose names weren’t said, cases that were swept under the rug, who didn’t get a national uprising and whose cities didn’t burn from grief, you deserve it all.”