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Celebrations, relief follow Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict

Peaceful marches and celebrations filled downtown Minneapolis and George Floyd Square.
Someone holds up a George Floyd sign on April 20 in Minneapolis.

Someone holds up a George Floyd sign on April 20 in Minneapolis.

Celebrations and relief followed the jury's verdict, convicting Derek Chauvin of murder in the killing of George Floyd on Monday. 

From the moment the verdict was read there were cheers outside the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, where the trial was held.

State and city leaders spent millions drafting in additional police, troopers from other states, and the Minnesota National Guard in preparation for the verdict.

But all that followed were peaceful protests and marches through the streets of Minneapolis, with Chauvin's conviction leading to immediate calls for the enhanced security measures and police presence in the city to disappear.

At 38th and Chicago, what's now called George Floyd Square, hundreds gathered to mark the historic verdict, which marked the first white police officer in state history to be convicted of killing a Black person. 

And the peaceful demonstrations went well into the night, turning into a party at George Floyd Square per MPR photojournalist Evan Frost.

Calls for police reform underscored the celebrations, which were held amid a heavy police presence in the Twin Cities for the past few weeks. The verdict, for many, represented a step toward police accountability as activists continue their fight for a more equitable policing and criminal justice system.

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