Police forces across South Florida are awaiting a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota - and any potential protests that may come along with it.
Chauvin, a former officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, is on trial for the death of George Floyd in May 2020 that set off protests across the county, including in the city of Miami.
“I think we should all be hopeful that justice is served,” said Art Acevedo, who recently was sworn in as the new Chief of the Miami Police Department. “Regardless of the outcome, we know that the outcome is not an excuse for violating the law, for breaking things and certainly not committing acts of violence.”
Acevedo said the city is ready for any demonstrations while other large cities in South Florida told NBC 6 they have been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security to gather intelligence for their tactical teams while having additional officers on standby.
“(We’re) hopeful for the best, but we are always preparing for the worst,” Acevedo said. “If we’re in this administration, we are always going to err on the side of public safety. I’d rather be over prepared.”
Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder, third degree murder, and manslaughter. Prosecutors said Chauvin displayed his callousness even after he got off Floyd’s neck. Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, had offered other reasons why Floyd died including drug use and medical issues.
Jurors began deliberating Monday afternoon and reached a verdict Tuesday afternoon.