BOSTON (CBS) – Intense anticipation turned into overwhelming relief for Reverend Willie Bodrick of the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury. Like so many people, he watched the verdict come in on television. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd.
For Rev. Bodrick, this verdict stretches beyond justice for Floyd's death.
"For us to get the guilty verdict, I believe it restores hope," he said. "It lets people know that their protest, their voices have been heard."
For those who marched from Nubian Square in Roxbury to the Boston Common demanding change, this decision is long overdue.
"Finally! He's been guilty. I don't know why it took so much time to figure out he was guilty," said Kairah Neves-Revere.
Another Roxbury resident said the verdict moved him to tears. "I didn't realize I was crying," said Bill Singleton of Roxbury. "I was crying because for the first time... we now see that black and white, Asian and Latino Americans – we're saying one country, one set of rules. One set of laws."
Others see it as a stepping stone for change, telling WBZ-TV that the fight for equality isn't over. It's only just beginning.
"One guilty verdict isn't going to stop systemic oppression, but I hope it's a step in the right direction," said Miah Francis.
And with that same voice used to spark change, Rev. Bodrick believes people should come together peacefully.
"You can never repay for a life, but the justice of this system that has failed so many in this particular instance didn't protect this cop," said Rev. Bodrick. "I think we should come to the streets. Come to the street with our voices."
A rally is planned for Wednesday afternoon at Nubian Square in Roxbury.
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