South Bay celebrates Chauvin guilty verdict, reflects on lives lost at hands of local police

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- People gathered outside San Jose City Hall on Tuesday afternoon were met with sounds of celebration -- A celebratory concert reflected the relief felt by attendees.

San Jose-Silicon Valley NAACP President, Rev. Jethroe Moore II said Tuesday's guilty verdict is a step in the right direction. However, he adds, this was only the beginning.

"We just hope that more police officers, when they see injustice, will begin to stand up," he told ABC7 News.

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Rev. Moore also highlighted the renewed push to seek justice for local families, people whose loved ones were killed by police.

From the celebratory concert outside City Hall to a vigil on the front steps of Grace Baptist Church, community groups, religious leaders and South Bay residents took the afternoon to reflect.

"Today is a day for us to have a little bit of revelry, because justice and accountability won the day," Rev. George Oliver, lead pastor at Grace Baptist Church said. "But it's also a day for us to have a little bit of reverence for those lives that we have lost."

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Rev. Oliver said there's significance in Grace Baptist being the backdrop for the evening vigil, which honored George Floyd and South Bay families.

"We're just continuing being a presence in the community for justice, a voice for justice," he added. "Cheerleaders for justice. And a place, a refuge, for people in times when it's hard."

He recognized the day's legal developments have restored hope for the young community, engaged in social justice reform.

"This moment today," he reflected, "In thinking about what it must be like for a young person to know that justice is possible. That their life is just a little more valuable today than it was yesterday... That's a great feeling."

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"Just to know that in some child's eyes, today is more hopeful than yesterday," Oliver shared.

Rev. Moore added, "It's a great step for America, and everyone needs to understand it as such. All we're asking for is accountability, and respect, and fair treatment."

Both Moore and Oliver agreed, the world's eyes have been on America. They say Tuesday's verdict may very well have saved her.

"It's so great today to know that those tears were not in vain," Oliver shared. "That what they have sown in tears, we now will be able to reap in joy."

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