MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Word spread quickly about the release of former Minneapolis Police officer Derke Chauvin from custody after posting bail.
While many people expressed their anger, others are trying to re-direct it to places where people can heal and learn how to continue the fight for justice.
“It’s okay to not be okay and come to a place where you can have those feelings kind of spill out and have someone help you process with you, don’t bottle them up,” community activist Alicia Smith said.
George Floyd square is a site for mourning, comfort and healing and on this day it’s needed more than ever.
“It’s hurtful to our community, it’s devastating and we continue to sort of take these blows even though we know that it is a part of the criminal justice system, it doesn’t make it easier for us to deal with that pain,” Smith explained.
Smith says this space will be peaceful in spite of the news that the man seen across the globe with his knee on the neck of George Floyd is now out of jail.
“Because he made bail does not mean he avoided conviction,” New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Rev. Jerry McAfee said. “There is still a trial that is left to happen. My preference would’ve been that they would’ve held him without bail but that argument and debate — that should’ve took place months ago, so now that it’s set to go back on it they won’t be able to do it.”
Rev. Jerry McAfee says he sees the social media threads and people saying, “There should have never been an option to post bond” or “I can’t believe he walked free,” — he believes people should direct their anger into action by working to change the system.
“Let the system work now, ask me if I trust the system — no,” Rev. McAfee said. “And here is why, the Supreme Court. either three or four times as it pertains to police use of deadly force, is the officer has to feel threatened. That is too broad of a threshold that we should have been fighting for years.”
Rev. McAfee says if you want change and don’t vote then you are part of the problem. He says people should make sure voting becomes a priority if change is truly to happen.