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Local Central Florida Leaders Respond to Jury’s Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial

Torrie McGriff was at the protest with her younger sister. “I’m standing here again as a black woman, as a lesbian, saying that I am here because black lives matter, but we can’t pick which black lives are in that group," said McGriff. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

A jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all the counts he faced over the death of George Floyd. 

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, a former Orlando police officer himself, says he is pleased with the jury’s findings. 

In a statement he says that most police officers are good public servants, but, “when officers cross the line and commit criminal acts, they must be prosecuted no differently than the people they serve.”

His wife, Congresswoman Val Demings, says justice has prevailed but this is not a happy day as George Floyd should have never been killed. 

In a Tweet, she says as a healing nation it isn’t time to rest but, “continue to have a sense of urgency to come together and work together with one purpose in mind: to do better.” 

Orlando City Mayor Buddy Dyer says the guilty verdict won’t bring George Floyd back to his family or diminish the pain and anger felt around the nation. But the verdict will serve as motivation, “to work harder to make changes to end systemic racism.” 

Current law enforcement leaders also commented on the verdict.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina says he has always considered Derek Chauvin’s actions to be indispensable, unexplainable and criminal. 

In a Tweet, Mina urges residents to remain calm in their response to the verdict and says he hopes law enforcement and the community can continue to move forward together in a spirit of trust. 

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon says it was only right that law enforcement officers are held to a high standard. 

In a Tweet, Rolon says officers must earn the trust of the public and, “ the individuals who tarnished the badge are not a reflection of the entire profession. We must do everything in our power to change the minds of those who believe the law enforcement profession is broken.”

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »