'Much more work to do': Madison activists react to Chauvin verdict

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- It was a day filled with tears and celebration in downtown Madison as about a dozen people gathered on the Capitol steps to watch the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd.

“We are relieved a little bit to know that in this case there has been some type of justice served,” said Larissa Johnna, a Madison resident. 

Madison activists played music and offered food to those who joined them in applauding the outcome.

Rodney Alexander, who has led several demonstrations across Madison last year in wake of the death of George Floyd, said he was thankful for the verdict as he and others anticipated it could have been a different atmosphere if Chauvin wasn’t convicted. 

“We know things could have gone the other direction very easily,” Alexander said. “I’m just relieved that people don’t have to deal with that same trauma and disappointment again.”

Others who joined about a dozen people outside the Capitol called the verdict a step forward, but believe much more needs to be done to bring justice to many other Black lives lost from encounters with police. 

“It means there’s still some sense of faith in the American criminal justice system, but by and large I don’t think the problem has been disciplined at all,” said Battlefield Duke, of Madison. “This is just a small moment of time.”

Madison police circled State Street and the downtown area after the verdict was delivered, but things remained calmed throughout the night. 

“There’s much more work to do,” said Alexander.

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