MILWAUKEE — As the Derek Chauvin case wraps up with the sentencing hearing, local activist Tracey Dent said it feels like a step in the right direction.
"Just a sigh of justice, a sigh of relief for the George Floyd family and the people that have been fighting for justice for so long. It's a historical moment right now, that's how it feels," Dent said.
He said he felt nervous in the hours leading up to the sentencing, worrying that it could be lighter than he hoped. But ultimately, he said the day feels like a win for him.
"So many protesters all over the country, this is what they've been fighting for. This type of justice. And this is a victory for all those people that are putting their boots to the ground and fighting for justice," Dent said. "But they can't stop there. Because there's so many George Floyds across the county that need justice."
TMJ4 also reached out to several local police associations about their thoughts on sentencing day. Only the Black Police Association got back to us to do an interview.
Ricky Burems is a member of the Black Police Association and a retired Milwaukee Police detective. He worked with the department for 32 years.
"When I see these situations, I think it's an affront to officers out there who are honest and who are willing to put their life on the line to protect their fellow man," Burems said.
Burems also has many emotions about today's sentencing.
"When I look at Derek Chauvin, I see a person who is wearing a police uniform, the badge, the other equipment, driving a police car. But he is not up to the task," Burems said. "I want to see him get a sentence fitting to what he did. If he were a civilian, he would probably get the max."
Burems said that going forward, there needs to be significant culture changes within police departments.
"I realize that there have been many George Floyds as well as many Derek Chauvins, and unfortunately there will be many more until changes are made in police culture," Burems said.
And Tracey Dent hopes this case sends a message and sets a precedent for similar cases going forward.