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Activists continue to fight for racial justice

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — With the jury finding former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty, many onlookers are hopeful.

“I’m hoping this, as a community, puts a lot of confidence in our judicial system. That when we put up a trial like this, we get it right,” Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem said.

But, just as the verdict was read Tuesday, another police-involved shooting in Ohio was making headlines. A day later, a man shot by police in North Carolina hit the news cycle. Both are under investigation.

“This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is, we still have work to do,” Vice President Kamala Harris said Tuesday.

So, what is next?

“We still must reform the system,” Vice President Harris said.

What is wanted?

“Create higher charges. Set a mandate that any peace officer that comes into our communities, you will not execute us. You will not be the jury. You will not be the executioner over our lives,” Brooklyn Center protester Robin Wonsley said.

Wonsley is running for Minneapolis City Council.

“In this country, there is a system for white people, and there is a system for black people. That should not be the case,” Jaylani Hussein said.

Hussein is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) MN.

The Rochester Police Department is taking steps to positively move forward as well.

“We have a lot of work to do. Through hard work and dedication we can peel back some of these layers and trauma and oppression,” Rochester Police Department Community Liaison Bud Whitehorn said.

Nationally, lawmakers are pushing to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. In March, it was approved in the U.S. House.

“This bill would hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our community,” Vice President Harris said.

It aims to end certain police techniques like chokeholds and provides funds to improve police training. Here’s the bill in its entirety.

It has yet to receive a vote in the Senate. If passed, President Biden says he will immediately sign it into law.

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Kamie Roesler

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