Demonstrators say work has just begun following guilty verdict of officer who killed George Floyd

ATLANTA — As a judge read the guilty verdict in the trial against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, a group of activists and supporters of George Floyd gathered here in Atlanta at a mural painted in honor of Floyd along Edgewood Avenue.

Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 2020 death of Floyd, 46.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was out at the mural and spoke to people who said they were there to celebrate the verdict.

The group chanted phrases like “Justice for George” and “Convict the cops.”

Seiden spoke with Julius Thomas, who said he was there when the verdict was read.

“My reaction was an immediate sigh of relief, of joy and happiness,” Thomas said. “The purpose (of this march) is to have the community ... have the time to celebrate and rejoice and claim this victory for human people, for the Black community.”

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Local civil rights attorney Gerald Griggs was among the group that had gathered.

“In any movement, we have to have milestones, and this was a milestone end. This is not the end of marathon. We have to continue. We run the race,” Griggs said.

The group marched through the streets of Atlanta to Centennial Olympic Park, clutching signs condemning police brutality while honoring the life of Floyd.

As the crowd moved closer to the park, Seiden spoke with several Georgians who came out

to support their Black brothers and sisters, join the calls for justice and urge the need for police reform.

“You have the freedom of speech to protest and march and say what needs to be said without fear of reprisal and anything like that,” one demonstrator said. “At first, I was scared. But now I’m here, and I feel proud.”

Many whom Seiden spoke with said Tuesday’s verdict is a step in the right direction, but the work has just begun.