‘That Could Have Been Me': Boston Reacts to Chauvin's Conviction in George Floyd's Death

People in Boston and across Massachusetts reacted Tuesday to Derek Chauvin's conviction in the death of George Floyd

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The conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd sparked reaction across the U.S., including in Boston and elsewhere in Massachusetts.

Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes last year, was found guilty on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter.



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"This is definitely the beginning," said Boston barber Frank Smith. "Hopefully, all of them will be accountable for what they did."

"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 Roxbury's Nubian Square.

In the aftermath of the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, Boston Mayor Kim Janey and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins spoke in very personal terms about it and what still needs to be done to bring about racial equity.

"Before George Floyd, I would see all these incidents, and I'd say, 'Yeah, this is really messed up, and someone should really do something about it.' But after George Floyd, I felt, personally, I should do something myself and get my voice heard, or this could be me, or my brother, or my father," said Nathan Esperance of Lexington. "I want to live past 21 today, I don't want to die, or see my family member on the news coverage saying, 'A cop shot him, because they thought he had a gun on him,' or 'They were detained or killed for drugs in their system.' I just don't want America to go worse than it already is."

The Boston Celtics issued a statement praising the jury's decision while acknowledging the work that still needs to be done.

"We are grateful for the verdict in the George Floyd murder case, however, we know that today's justice served is not to be taken for granted, and the Celtics remain steadfast in our commitment to advocating for racial equity and social justice," the team said.

Lawmakers in the Bay State, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, were also quick to respond to Chauvin's conviction.

Judge Peter Cahill reads the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin was convicted of all three charges including second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
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