Many fear riots in Minneapolis as the world awaits the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the cop who killed George Floyd last year. Major cities prepare for protests, violence, and damage if Chauvin is not charged with murder.
Politicians and business owners are worried there will be riots in their cities. Many shops are boarding up and protecting their windows out of fear there will be violence and vandalism once more.
Last year, Minneapolis saw over $350 million in losses during last year’s unrest, with a thousand buildings destroyed, damaged, or looted, according to the New York Times. Now the place is consumed with grief in fear as Chauvin’s verdict looms- the jury will present it on Monday.
Many hope that the jury will come back with a guilty verdict, specifically for a second-degree murder charge. If they don’t and Chauvin is acquitted, or perhaps is given a lighter sentence, there may be a reigniting of unrest like last year, with riots in Minneapolis and all major cities across the United States.
In Beverly Hills, police prepare for political protests. ABC reported that the police department will be on full alert in both residential and business areas. A statement released by the Beverly Hills Police Department said that “other law enforcement personnel and private security companies will offer support and coordinate closely with BHPD.”
Some businesses are choosing to temporarily close as a precautionary measure and boarding storefronts with plywood.
In Minneapolis, ground-zero for the events that could spark violence and riots across the United States, schools are moving to remote learning, and extracurriculars will not take place. New defenses are being placed around the police building and Nation Guard troops have been deployed.
According to The Guardian, closing arguments are expected in the Derek Chauvin trial on Monday. Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright, explained to ABC’s This Week on Sunday that “the outcome we pray for and Derek Chauvin is for him to be held criminally liable for killing George Floyd because we believe that could be a precedent.”
“Finally making America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all,” he continued. “That means all of us – Black people, Hispanic people, Native people – all of us.”
If political activists don’t hear the verdict they expect, there could be a surge in violence across major U.S. cities. Maxine Waters, an influential Black member of Congress, protested before curfew Saturday in Brooklyn Center. “I hope that we’re going to get a verdict that says, guilty, guilty, guilty,” Waters said. “And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”
“Not manslaughter, no,” Waters continued. “This is guilty for murder.”
The Guardian reported that about 1,000 protesters gathered in a park a day after police released a video of an officer shooting a 13-year-old boy during a confrontation. The march for Adam Toledo occurred in Chicago with signs that read “Stop killing kids” and “CPD can’t be reformed.”
The crowd shouted a sentiment shared by many activists and protesters across the United States. “No justice, no peace,” the crowd chanted as a brass band played music.