Central Oregon activist Kerstin Arias calls the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial a relief.
“It’s almost like all of us couldn’t breathe for the last year and sitting there for the last hour waiting, our breath was held, and at that moment we breathed for George,” Arias said.
Nearly 2,000 miles from where the former Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck, emotions ran high when the verdict was read.
“Sometimes we wonder if it’s worth it, if we’re getting anywhere, if we’re ever going to see change,” Arias said. “Seeing the justice that we’ve seen today, it’s worth it.”
Arias believes Tuesday’s decision means peace for many Central Oregonians.
“It’s not tears of sadness, it’s tears of relief,” Arias said. “It’s tears of a whole year fighting and giving all of ourselves and protesting and giving awareness. It’s a whole year of that finally releasing.”
While law enforcement across the country brace for potential protests, local agencies say they don’t expect any unrest here.