Richmond area organizers celebrate Derek Chavin’s guilty verdict, vow to keep fighting

Community organizers react to Derek Chauvin verdict

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Derek Chauvin verdict has significant meaning for people in Central Virginia who have been on the ground protesting for justice. For many, it says it’s proof their work wasn’t in vain.

“The protesting, people letting their voices be heard, letting out frustrations. I feel that all played a part in saying ‘hey, we’re not going to continue to tolerate this,’” Petersburg organizer Jhovan Galberth said.

He organized numerous marches following George Floyd’s death, hoping the world would hear. Tuesday, he waited anxiously for a verdict.

“I really didn’t know how I was going to go to work tomorrow if the verdict went the wrong way, pretending that I was OK and I really wasn’t,” he said.

For nearly a year now, NBC12 has followed the highs and lows of protests, riots and cries for change.

The outcry could be heard all over the world as marches were held in other countries - even prompting companies to rethink their stances on diversity.

“It took George Floyd’s death to shake America, and it’s still shaking America,” said JJ Minor, who heads Richmond’s NAACP. “It’s a unifying moment for some. Of course, you still have a country that is so divided. You can look at some of the comments, some of the folks who are blogging and tweeting, and they’re saying some ugly, mean [things]. Some of these folks are mean-spirited out here but they lost today while the majority of Americans, we won.”

“We’ve been going through this for so long. We’ve been going through these battles and losing these battles, so for us to finally get a win and it’s like, ‘Thank you, Lord,’” Galberth added.

Both men say they realize their work isn’t done. They expressed concern about the traffic stop in Windsor, Virginia involving Caron Nazario and the police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota. They say people should continue protesting until there isn’t a reason to anymore.

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