SCRANTON, Pa. — Millions were watching as the verdicts were read against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Among them, the leaders of the local and statewide NAACP.
“It is absolutely appropriate that he was found guilty on all three counts. I mean, we witnessed the breath leave the body of George Floyd,” said Kenneth Huston, the president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the NAACP.
“The evidence was insurmountable, the witnesses, the testimony, I think, just looking at it, there was no other verdict,” added Jimel Calliste, the president of the Wilkes-Barre chapter of the NAACP.
In downtown Scranton, friends Willie Witherspoon and Melvin Lundy, both of Scranton, say it was tough watching the video footage of Floyd’s death.
But it got the right verdict.
“The prosecutor did a really good job. The tape tells the whole thing. You can't get away with that. The tape says it, the man begged for his life,” said Witherspoon.
The NAACP leaders hope to use the verdict as a point to try to improve relations between police and people of color.
“What are the things to hopefully deescalate your encounter with law enforcement. I think this is absolutely necessary. It's something we have to do,” said Huston.