Las Vegas locals, visitors react to Derek Chauvin verdict; march led down the Strip

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — April 20 was a monumental day for George Floyd, his family and the country, as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter.

A lot of folks on vacation in Las Vegas did not know the verdict was read until 8 News Now approached them. We received mixed reaction, with one man being very emotional.

“We are in a tough time right now. Just happy we got a perfect verdict. Not a perfect verdict, a good verdict, guilty,” said Gearld Lucas, visiting from Indiana. When we asked if this was a movement toward change, he replied, “We are a long way from change, but I hope that it does something that gets us towards that way, you know.”

John Scherer shared, “I guess I was really surprised he was found guilty that soon. I thought it would take longer.”

He went on to tell us he was satisfied with the verdict.

We also spoke with people in our community who were watching the verdict as it was read. The explosive case triggered worldwide protests and violence, including right here in Vegas.

“You know, when this case first started last year, it was emotional for a lot of people, particularly myself because I’m a mom of three Black sons who happen to be in college,” said Tomeka Luckett. “And so, justice is being served with this verdict.”

Junior Guevara expressed, “It was unfair that that man lost his life to something so petty. I think it personally could’ve been, things could’ve happened different. There were so many officers there. They could’ve held him down, without actually doing what they did.”

“I’m happy with it,” said Melissa Deleon. “I’m glad, and I hope that the family gets some closure with it.”

Steven Beaudry shared, “It was deliberate … I say he killed him. I wanted to go through the screen. I couldn’t believe that nobody did anything, nobody stopped him. I don’t care what Floyd did; he didn’t deserve that.”

A gathering was held on the Las Vegas Strip to remember Floyd and all lives lost to police brutality. The group More than a Hashtag set everything up and led a march.

Several followed with flags and signs in tow.

Group leader, Desiree Smith, said this verdict is a reminder to keep going. 

“Fortunately, Floyd got a piece of justice, but people are being killed every day. We are still being killed,” she said.

Fellow supporter Kaitlyn Provost knew she wanted to march once the verdict was in, no matter the outcome.

“I felt like we couldn’t just sit at home. It’s great to stay on Facebook and comment, but you must be active, and for us, our next step is to ask our leaders, ‘What do you need from us?” she said.

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