MILWAUKEE — Minutes after the verdict was read in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, Aleana Torres and Marques Young said they felt relieved.
They live a few homes down from the George Floyd mural at Holton Street and North Avenue in Milwaukee.
"It was great to see as a young Black person, oh, the world doesn’t just have in store for me, oh, I'm going to get killed because of the color of my skin," Torres said.
"This is not just a win for African Americans. This is a win for the human race, because it's about right and wrong, not the color of your skin," Young said.
A short while later, a few dozen people gathered at 27th and Center Streets to sing, chant and listen to speakers. One of them was Maria Hamilton, the mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by police in 2014.
Her son's story, along with the stories of others who have died at the hands of police, still weighs heavily on activists' minds.
"I think this is a huge win, but he still has to be sentenced," said Vaun Mayes. "And again here in Milwaukee, we still have our own George Floyds."
"It’s good to see that justice can be served when all eyes are watching. I think we need people to be watching every case," said Percy Hayes.
The group then marched east on Center Street, and dozens of cars followed. Many people in the group say they have been marching or taking part in some form of activism for 326 days since Floyd's death.
Some say the verdict should further galvanize everyone to work for equity, accountability and justice.
"This even highlights even more for us to be able to make the inroads that we have to make, the folks that should be listening to us, should be hearing the calls for change that we have asked for time, and time, and time, and time again, and continue to fall on deaf ears, that can no longer be acceptable," said State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee.