Kansas governor & groups react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

Local News

A poster of George Floyd in Los Angeles Friday, April 2, 2021 next to Derek Chauvin’s mugshot. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansans like Governor Laura Kelly and various organizations are sharing reactions or insight into the guilty conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer responsible for the death of George Floyd.

A jury found Chauvin guilty Tuesday of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was declared dead after Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes.

After the verdict reading, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly shared her hopes that “the result brings some peace and comfort to the George Floyd family.”

The Topeka Police Department told KSNT News that as of now, it was unaware of any local protests planned after the verdict. It is monitoring area happenings in case that changes.

The Black Lives Matter Topeka branch also issued a statement following the verdict, calling for local action from the City of Topeka after the trial:

“George Floyd was a human being with people who loved him… We demand the City Council and City Manager immediately pass the no-chokehold ordinance. It has been verified multiple times by the Topeka Police Department that this is not taught nor allowed currently in their policy. Passing an ordinance that is as strong as the policy will ensure there is no sudden change without thorough discussion and review by the public.”

Black Lives Matter of Topeka

Washburn University’s Dr. Jerry Farley gave a supportive message, saying the campus plans to offer its counseling services for students, staff or faculty who need assistance in the wake of the trial’s results.

“Washburn University was founded with an unwavering respect for diversity. Washburn University stands against injustice everywhere. We know we are stronger and achieve more when everyone is welcomed and all voices are heard. Events in the news can be disturbing and emotional. While the university continues to work toward a more inclusive society, we realize that some members of the Washburn community may need support in the current environment.”

Dr. Jerry Farley

Kansas State University called upon its community Monday to react peacefully and thoughtfully, regardless of the outcome of the trial. University President Richard Myers also said the campus will hold a vigil and moment of silence 3 p.m. Friday in the Ray Dempsey Plaza.

K-State will offer one-on-one counseling sessions in the Phillip 66 Atrium at the following times:

  • Friday, April 23, 4 to 5 p.m. 
  • Monday, April 26, 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 27, 2 to 5 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, April 28, 2 to 5 p.m.  

This is a developing story.

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