FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A small victory is how some in Fort Wayne described the jury’s guilty verdict in the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Officer who murdered George Floyd.
Local NAACP President Larry Gist says while Floyd's death had impacts all over the world, this one case is only the beginning.
"The floodgates are now open," Gist said. "The flood gate says let injustice out and let justice in."
That’s why local clergy members and Fort Wayne residents gathered on Friday evening at the Allen County Courthouse, to talk about what’s next.
For Alisha Rauch and Daylana Saunders, co-founders of Change Makers, they say they want this case to bring about changes for police accountability.
"We need police reform. We need better police training," Rauch said. "There’s a lot of things we need to work on to change so that we don’t continue to see this happening to our community."
Here locally, they’re working on educating the community, hoping to put pressure on those who are running for office.
Saunders explained, "We’re making sure that we organize our people knowing that they’re power in numbers and that we can put pressure on legislatures to do what they promised they were going to do."
The other thing many at the rally said they want to see is new hate crime legislation. Gist says would help in local cases they take on.
"I’ve already talked with legislators in Indianapolis so that we can get the hate crime bill, a real hate crime bill back on the table."
So, while today’s gathering was an outward expression of joy, it was also a chance for those to look inward into our own community and see where it can be improved.
"Injustice is there, so we have to let the people know that we are here and we’re going to sit together, and the time and now is right," Gist said.