Valley African American leaders have mixed reaction to Chauvin sentencing
African American leaders in the Valley have mixed reactions to the sentencing of Derek Chauvin.
The 22 and a half year sentence is not completely satisfying to them and doesn't send the message many wanted.
Reverend Ken Simon said, "IT SENDS A MESSAGE, BUT IT DOES SEND, YOU MIGHT GET OFF LIGHT, AND I THINK THAT IS PROBABLY NOT THE MESSAGE WE WANT TO SENd."
Still, for activists like Ty Powell who organized a We Matter march in Warren last year, while not completely satisfying, this a step in the right direction
"WITH HIM BEING A POLICE OFFICER IT COULD HAVE WENT A WHOLE DIFFERENT WAY BUT NOW THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS STARTING TO SAY WE HAVE TO TAKE YOU GUYS, WE HAVE TO TAKE YOU GUYS RESPONSIBLE AS WELL, YOU ARE REGULAR PEOPLE JUST LIKE US, YOU JUST HAVE A DIFFERENT TITLE BUT THIS IS JUST SHOWING HUMANITY," said Powell
Both Simon and Powell hope the nation can heal and move forward but admit it will be tough with Chauvin only getting 22 and a half years.
"WE CAN'T MOVE FORWARD IF WE STILL KEEP FALLING SHORT OF JUSTICE, IT JUST MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO MOVE FORWARD BECAUSE IT LEAVES A BITTER STING AND PAIN LINGERING BEHIND THAT PEOPLE FIND IT DIFFICULT TO GET PAST."
With good behavior, Chauvin will be eligible for parole after 2/3 of the sentence or about 15 years.