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Community members consider Chauvin sentencing as a turning point for change

It's been just over a year in the making for those who’ve been boots on the ground on a quest for justice in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

MINNEAPOLIS — There was a lot of mixed reaction from people outside the courthouse Friday, from those who thought the sentencing was just and fair to those who thought it wasn't enough. 

One thing many people agreed on though, was that Chauvin's sentencing marked another turning point for change. 

It's been just over a year in the making for those who’ve been boots on the ground on a quest for justice in the wake of George Floyd's murder.  

"Did we get that, we got some of it," said Billie Jean Vanknight as she gathered with other demonstrators outside the courthouse Friday. 

"In Minneapolis, for many, many families it has been going on for a long time," said Paul Johnson who was also outside the Courthouse. 

Twenty-two and a half years is the sentence Judge Peter Cahill handed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, which in this case came as surprise for some. 

"I'm super happy that he was sentenced to the most amount of time that we’ve gotten for a police officer, let alone a white police officer," said Vanknight. 

A decision Floyd's girlfriend Courteney Ross says is just a small step in the right direction, for the global movement which ignited calls for change in George Floyd’s name. 

"Mourning Floyd has been very private for me and nothing is going to bring him back," said Ross. She went on to say, "though I’m disappointed by the sentencing I appreciate all the people, all the boots on the ground that made today happen because if it weren’t for all these people making noise we might not have had a sentence at all.”

Though it wasn’t the maximum sentence...

"One conviction does not make change," said Johnson. 

Ross says she can’t lose heart as this is just the beginning of greater things to come, from the legacy Floyd leaves behind.

"With our continued work and fight we’re going to make more changes," said Ross. 

Community members say the next step is to see police reform bills passed at both the state and federal level. A sentiment shared by George Floyd's family Friday. 

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