Activists are calling for change in Boston Wednesday following the conviction of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.
It was an emotional day for many in Nubian Square, where Roxbury residents watched as the verdict came down. Candles were lit in front of a mural featuring George Floyd Tuesday night, where many took a moment to reflect and honor his family.
But activists say Chauvin's conviction is only a step toward justice.
"We're so used to losing as people of color," activist Monica Cannon-Grant said. "Just because we have this one win — if you want to call it that — doesn't mean that our work ends."
Multiple rallies were held in Boston Wednesday afternoon, including at South Station, Nubian Square and the Massachusetts State House.
"I'm satisfied — I'm not happy," Leonard Lee of Roxbury said. "It's not time to party. We have so much work to do."
The 5 p.m. State House event, organized by Mass Action Against Police Brutality, will call for justice for local families and survivors of police brutality.
Gov. Charlie Baker activated 1,000 members of the National Guard to stand by in case they’re needed.
In a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday, Baker said that the verdict shows Chauvin is not above the law, but noted there’s still a lot of work to do on police reform.
"Nothing can reverse the pain, suffering and agony of George Floyd’s family and friends, but this decision does make clear that Officer Chauvin was not above the law. He was given a fair trial, found guilty, and he will pay a price for his actions," Baker said.
Many other New England politicians reacted to the verdict on social media. Additionally, Boston Mayor Kim Janey and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins commended the work of Minnesota prosecutors and committed to further change in Boston and Suffolk County.
The conviction sparked reaction in Boston and across the U.S.
"That wasn't my life, but it could have been my life. That could have been me, and that's what I always think, and I think that's what we need to think about when we're thinking about empathy — that could have been any one of us," Imani Johnson said in Nubian Square.