St. Louis activists say verdict doesn’t end fight for justice

“It’s not a celebration, but it’s a sequel because we continue to fight injustice every day,” said Reverend Darryl Gray

ST. LOUIS – They huddled in front of St. Louis City Hall first in the cold.

“From the sidewalk to the street! From the sidewalk to the street,” shouted Reverend Darryl Gray as he led protesters onto the streets near Tucker and Market downtown.

Several dozen people of all races then quickly marched a few meters and blocked the streets.

The crowd, made up mostly of adults, students, and a few town councilors, sang familiar phrases like “Black Lives Matter” and “Say his name: George Floyd” as they formed a circle at the intersection.

They went there two hours after a jury convicted former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin on three charges of the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in May 2020.

“It’s not a celebration, but it’s a sequel because we continue to fight injustice every day,” said Reverend Darryl Gray.

Gray said a guilty verdict against Chauvin surprised him.

“I was surprised because we didn’t see it in this country. We saw the exact opposite. There wasn’t anything that made us think differently,” said Gray.

“It definitely feels like a glimmer of hope that change is possible, but I’m not celebrating,” said protester Ishmaiah Moore.

Now, after being condemned by Chauvin, the fiery protesters insist that their movement not end until they see an end to police brutality and racial injustice.

“If you’re really looking at it, there is no other way this process could come out. The video of this officer’s knee on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes spoke for itself,” Gray said.

“I think what happened today is a step in the right direction. We have yet to come together. Better efforts must be made to have better police-community relations in and across this country,” said Michael McMillan. the President of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

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