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Local community reacts to guilty verdict in George Floyd’s death

George Floyd reactions 4-20-21
Posted at 10:07 PM, Apr 20, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — A group of students from the University of South Florida reacted to a guilty verdict in the death of George Floyd.

The students gathered along Fowler Avenue near the university.

The group planned a protest related to budget cuts and a bill that would make changes to Bright Future scholarships. Before the planned protest, the group watched the verdict on their phones.

"There is simply no way to look at the facts objectively and say Derek Chauvin did nothing wrong. He had his knee on George Floyd's neck for eight minutes," said Ben Braver, a student at the University of South Florida.

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Students believe the jury got it right in this case.

"It's a sigh of relief. It shows that things are moving in the right direction," said David Jones, an organizer with the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee.

Pastor Carl Soto, Vice President of Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk, said he spent five days in Minneapolis. He returned home on Tuesday.

"I believe it's a step in the right direction to be found guilty on all three. I was definitely not expecting that. I was anticipating maybe the lesser charge even though I wanted the maximum," said Pastor Soto.

Pastor Soto said he believes the prosecution had a strong case. He also said key witnesses and video evidence helped lead to a guilty verdict.

"The witnesses that were called to the stand from the eyewitnesses that were there, their credibility, their composure on the stand, their ability to completely without hesitation be able to state exactly what happened, without any stuttering or without any confusion let the jury know they were absolutely telling the truth," said Pastor Soto. "There is a difference between a rehearsed testimony and a testimony that comes from the heart."