DC residents gather at Black Lives Matter Plaza for Derek Chauvin decision
WASHINGTON - D.C. residents gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza on Tuesday in anticipation of the jury’s decision in the Derek Chauvin trial.
READ MORE: Derek Chauvin found guilty on all counts in connection with George Floyd's death
The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all counts in connection with the death of George Floyd – an incident that ignited protests in cities throughout the country, including the nation’s capital.
Black Lives Matter Plaza itself was christened at the height of D.C.’s protests – which saw demonstrators clash with police on a number of occasions.
READ MORE: District, Maryland, Virginia leaders respond to Derek Chauvin decision
Most of those gathered on Tuesday night met the news with some relief – others with joy.
Garrett Reaves – a D.C. man who provided refuge for protesters in his Swan Street home last year – was among those who visited Black Lives Matter Plaza to mark the occasion.
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"It’s tragic justice. We’re reflecting on reality – I can only speak for myself as a microcosm of what took place on June 1 and that stemmed from George Floyd. It’s tragic, but it’s our reality," Reaves said.
But, Reaves says, there isn’t a sense of triumph for him, or for those he’s spoken with since they stayed at his home.
"It just doesn’t feel like a win. I’m very appreciative of the verdict.
This monster was found guilty. But it’s a reality that never should have happened, and it’s continuing to happen even in the last week, and we’re seeing it all over the world and all over country," Reaves said.
D.C. police have been placed on high alert in anticipation of the verdict – and 250 National Guard personnel have been activated to support them.