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Pittsburghers Gather At Freedom Corner Before Hitting Streets After Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty In Murder Of George Floyd

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburghers peacefully gathered at Freedom Corner after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Rob Hopson)

On Tuesday, the former Minneapolis officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death last May.


Dozens of people gathered at Freedom Corner in the Hill District to listen to the verdict, which was read around 5:05 p.m. Speeches were given at Freedom Corner, and more than 60 people later marched through Oakland to Schenley Park.

While marching across the city, the group stopped at multiple intersections to hear speeches, chant and sing.

WATCH: Andy Sheehan Reports

The group reached Flagstaff Hill around 9 p.m. and dispersed. At Freedom Corner, Pittsburghers set up a small memorial of flowers and candles to Floyd.

"None of this would happen because they don't listen to us when we're quiet," said Tanish Long of Pittsburgh Black Lives Matter. "We wouldn't have a guilty verdict if we didn't keep the pressure on them."

KDKA's Andy Sheehan talked to people at Freedom Corner who said this is a moment of justice and change. But it is also, what leaders there are saying, the beginning of a change in America.

"I'm relieved because I was so afraid of what would happen if it did not come back guilty," activist Randall Taylor said. "It is justice. I'm not saying people are going to believe in the system 100 percent, but at least we are taking some steps for being people able to regain confidence."

Black Lives Matter
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Others said there is still more work to accomplish social justice and police reform in the city.

"White people need to be talking to white people. I have been saying that. This is white supremacy. So white people need to be pulling their people to the side and talking to them," said Fawn Walker-Montgomery, the co-founder of Take Action Mon Valley.

Demonstrators told KDKA's Nicole Ford that there are multiple ways to get involved with organizations in the city. The easiest way to start is to look for a meeting.

WATCH: Nicole Ford Reports

There was a police presence, but officers stayed at a distance. City officials told KDKA on Monday that they were ready for possible protests.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto released a statement following the verdict, saying:

"I was relieved to see that justice was served in the jury's decision today finding Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges in the horrific murder last year of George Floyd.

But I also realize that no verdict can bring back a life or eliminate the pain the Floyd family and so many Americans — especially in our Black community — continue to feel. We cannot erase centuries of systemic racism, and our efforts to uplift and support our minority neighbors must continue today and for years to come."

Other state and local officials, including Governor Tom Wolf, reacted to the verdict. Pittsburgh athletes, coaches and teams also shared statements following the news.

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