“Time stood still” for R.I. Black Lives Matter activist as jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – State leaders, lawmakers, and Black Lives Matter activists from all over Rhode Island are reacting to the guilty verdict in the trial of the former Minneapolis cop, Derek Chauvin.

Many, like Harrison Tuttle, Executive Director of Black Lives Matter RI PAC, say it’s a huge step forward in the fight for equality.

“I was watching with my mother. I felt like time stood still and when I saw the result. The first thing I did was hug my mother,” Tuttle said.

Tuttle says it was a moment he won’t forget. He’s been organizing rallies and marches since last summer when Floyd’s death rocked the nation.

“This was the best possible outcome that the American justice system could’ve provided. But, obviously, justice looks like George Floyd breathing, George Floyd being alive,” Tuttle said. “Millions and millions of people across the world and here in Rhode Island advocated for a result like this today and to see that, I’m relieved.”

Governor Dan McKee and Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos released a statement saying, “”While today’s verdict will never bring back George Floyd, whose life was tragically taken, it reaffirms a fundamental tenant of our country — that no one is above the law. Our thoughts are with the Floyd family and the people of Minnesota.

Justice was served today, but we have a lot of work to do to put a stop to police brutality, root out systemic racism, and build a more equitable state and nation.”

That’s work that Kinverly Dicupe with Reclaim RI is ready to get to.

“It was good to see that guilty verdict,” Dicupe said. “The only thing is that the guilty verdict is not fixing the system.”

While today was a monumental step forward, people like Tuttle and Dicupe say it’s just the beginning.

“We need to go for the system,” Dicupe said. “We need to go for how the police culture is.”

“We must look and use this moment as a launching pad to be able to address why black and brown people are dying at the hands of police,” Tuttle said.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island