Families of loved ones killed by police find hope in guilty verdict in George Floyd case

ATLANTA — Some metro area families who lost loved ones in officer-involved shootings say they felt like they received a piece of justice when the guilty verdicts came down in the trial surrounding the murder of George Floyd.

The families say it is a step in the right direction that a jury held former Officer Derek Chauvin accountable.

One mother told Channel 2′s Tom Jones that she felt the pain that Floyd’s family went through because she experiences that same pain every day.

All of the families Jones spoke with Wednesday say it is progress that the case was prosecuted, and a jury looked at the evidence and chose to convict.

“Well, I was happy. I was happy when I heard it,” said Venethia Cook.

“I was happy. I was happy for the Floyd family,” said Jimmy Hill.

“I was numb at first. I was in disbelief. I was extremely happy,” said Iffat Walker.

To some, they said it didn’t feel like a victory just for Floyd’s family.

“For families like mine that have experienced this injustice, it felt like a sense of justice for us. it felt like, ‘Oh my goodness! Someone’s family gets to see justice really served,’” Walker said.

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All of the families have lost loved ones in officer-involved shootings.

“For him to have his life taken in that kind of matter, it hurts,” said Hill, whose son Jimmy Atchison was by Atlanta police in 2019.

Cook’s son, Vincent Truitt, was killed by Cobb County police last year.

“I can’t even find the words to describe it. From the moment you open your eyes another day it’s just, oh another day waking up in pain,” Cook said.

Walker’s brother, Ibrahim Muhammad, was killed by DeKalb County police in 2006.

“He was an unarmed man who was shot in the face and he was killed,” Walker said.

All say they haven’t gotten the justice they deserve like George Floyd.

“It hurts and it hurts even more that we have to get out here and fight. And I’m going to continue to fight,” Hill said.

The families say the verdicts are a step in the right direction.

“It was like finally. We’re a million steps closer to changing this system,” Walker said.

Civil rights activist Gerald Griggs said families like these feel like the system works for them when district attorneys take cases to trial when officers are accused of wrong-doing.

“It reaffirms to them that that they were heard, and I think that’s what’s important in these cases,” Griggs said.

Cook said it would mean the world to her to see the officer who killed her son go to trial.

“I feel that I would be able to breathe a little bit more because my son is gone. He meant everything to me,” Cook said.

A grand jury chose not to pursue charges against the officer in Truitt’s case.

The Fulton County District Attorney told Jones that she is still reviewing Atchison’s death.

Muhammad’s death was ruled justifiable homicide.

The families say an officer-involved shooting is something no family should experience.