MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While many are praising the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, many community leaders say this is just the beginning as their is a lot more work to be done to find equality for all.
“You see a glimmer of hope that there is a real possibility for substantive change,” said Dwight Bullard.READ MORE: CDC Releases New Guidelines For Trial Cruises
Bullard, a former state senator and now president of the South Dade NAACP, says while there is need to celebrate Chauvin’s guilty verdict, the fight is not over.
“Roughly about 1% of officers who have been brought to trial for these kinds of incidents the killing of unarmed people have been found guilty,” he said. “So that means 99% of the folks who are committing these atrocities able to go back to work as if nothing ever happened.”
Bullard adds that the justice system for minorities is different.
“You have individuals literally on death row right now that we’re found guilty with no DNA evidence and one supposedly eye witness,” he said.READ MORE: South Florida Streets Packed For Cinco De Mayo, First Big Holiday Since Governor Lifted Local COVID Restrictions
Bullard pointed to George Zimmerman’s trial as one of those instances where he believes color played a role on the verdict. In a previous interview with Trayvon Martin’s dad, Tracy Martin, he agreed.
“I honestly feel as though if the state of Florida had gotten it right with George Zimmerman, and he had been convicted, then we wouldn’t have been in this position today where a police feel as if it’s OK to knee on somebody’s neck for nine-plus minutes without letting him up,” he said.
Broward County Commissioner Dale Holiness said he and his colleagues are actively working to create equality.
“We passed in Broward County the criminal justice police oversight board with an ordinance last year,” he said. “Also followed that up, we also passed the racial equity task force to look at all aspects of life as it deals with a black community and racial equity.”
Bullard hopes people will not let this victory cause them to lose focus on the larger battle.MORE NEWS: COVID Vaccine No Longer Required This Fall For Those Returning To NSU Campus
“A man had to be lynched on national television for the world to watch in order for us to get a guilty verdict and that was still in question up until a few hours ago,” he said.