JAMESTOWN – An advocate for racial justice in the Jamestown Community says the verdict in the George Floyd killing is just the start of a movement to bring equality to America.
The world watched with bated breath as the verdict came into a Minnesota courtroom Tuesday that former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.
Nearly one thousand miles from Minneapolis, Reverend Chloe Smith, the Faith Outreach Coordinator with the Jamestown Justice Collation, was glued to the news as the verdict came down.
“I felt a sense of relief, that justice had been served, but we are continuing to pray for the grieving family, friends, because this will not bring him (George Floyd) back,” said Rev. Smith.
Smith says George Floyd’s death, along with many others in the black community, was the catalyst that reignited the Black Lives Matter movement in Western New York and ground the world.
“We’re very appreciative because there is a grass roots movement that is taking place in Western New York, it is a movement of the people, by the people,” said Rev. Smith. “There are teachers involved, mothers and fathers.”
Going forward, the Reverend believes the Black Lives Matter movement will continue to enact change both nationally and in the Jamestown community.
Saying the Jamestown Police Department has already taken strides to become more involved in the community, creating a Community Resource Officer to bridge the gap.
“He is the connector between the community and the police department,” said Rev. Smith. “We are very pleased with what is taking place, I do not believe that is going to die off, I believe that as people are getting more and more empowered, they will continue to stay involved.”