Floyd’s Hometown Exalts in Verdict but Tempers Expectations – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
The streets of Houston’s Third Ward, a historically black neighborhood where George Floyd grew up, echoed with screams filled with the word “justice” in the moments following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for murder .
“We feel good. We thank everyone who stood by us. It’s a blessed moment,” said a tearful Jacob David, 39, who knew Floyd and considered him a mentor.
In the hours leading up to Tuesday’s verdict, some residents feared the judiciary would again prove elusive in a case where an unarmed black man was killed by a police officer. Even during the festivities, some have lowered their expectations of the jury’s decision on racial justice in America.
“I think people’s belief in the system we put in place is so bad they don’t expect anything good,” said Cal Wayne, a Houston rapper who was a childhood friend of Floyd when he was before one Mural of Floyd stood on the wall of a popular retail store in the third district.
Nicholas Watson, a third division resident and business owner, said he was thinking about how to do damage control if chauvin was acquitted and community frustration turned into property destruction.
“All we want is equality. Just give us an opportunity,” said Watson, adding that in addition to racial injustice, the Third Division also faces high levels of crime and poverty.
Kim Hewitt served sandwiches to customers in a grocery trailer across from the corner shop with the mural while she waited for the dish to be announced.
As the flow of customers slowed, Hewitt, who was also friends with Floyd, sang some of the songs that boomed from the speakers next to her food trailer. Some of the songs on their playlist were “White Man’z World” and “Breathin” by Tupac Shakur.
Sometimes while the songs were playing, Hewitt would take a microphone and express what she was feeling. She said, “Hey, we want (expletive) justice. Justice for Floyd” or “We want justice because they don’t give (expletive) justice.” us.”
When the verdict was announced, about 20 people gathered under a small tent next to the food trailer. Instead of music, the speakers had live audio when the verdict aired on a news channel. Some residents of the third division gathered on a nearby grassy, empty lot, while others sat in front of their homes a few blocks away.
Hewitt and others around her cheered the guilty verdicts loudly. They clapped and hugged.
“We finally have justice,” said Hewitt. Floyd “woke the whole world up. The fight is just beginning.”
People who drove past the shop in the corner and the caravan honked their car horns and waved and shouted “Justice” as they passed.
The residents of the third section celebrated the moment, but were also amazed at the future.
“Overall there is no justice in situations like this because his life is still gone. I am pleased with the result. Hopefully this can change things. I don’t know how much it will be,” said James Walker, 39, who is also knew Floyd. “There is no justice in a land where the protector becomes the terminator. Even after Floyd dies … young black men continue to die to the police.”
Another resident of the third division, Ceci Munoz, cried and fell to the ground after the verdict.
“I’m so happy … I’m not happy because the officer is leaving. His family will suffer. But (Floyd) begged” for his life, Munoz said as she cried. “When does it stop? When does it stop?”
Wayne said that in one case it takes more than one belief for the Third Division and Black Community to believe that “real change” is about to happen.
“This is a hell of a start,” said Wayne.