BALTIMORE (WJZ) — George Floyd’s murder and the ultimate conviction of the officer who killed him drew widespread reaction when the verdict came in. Even from the start of the case, many police officers condemned Derek Chauvin’s actions.

Like millions of people around the globe, Commissioner Michael Harrison watched as George Floyd lost his life, under the weight of former police officer, Chauvin. In a statement posted to Twitter after the verdict, the Commissioner said Chauvin “…failed to represent the oath to protect and serve”.

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The commissioner was also looking at that video through another lens, as a black man.

“Watching it from both angles it’s horrifying. Everything that I saw was wrong on every level whether it’s through the lens of being a Black man or through the lens of being a policing professional,” Commissioner Harrison said.

The Commissioner has two sons, and like many households of color, he says he’s had “the talk” with his sons. this a guide on how to interact with police.

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“They grew up with me teaching them what to say and teaching them how to ask questions and teaching them how to be respectful, but to follow
instructions but to do the right thing,” Commissioner Harrison said. “Yes, I shouldn’t have to have those conversations, but I did. And because I did, they kind of handle themselves a little bit differently now. I’m an American citizen I shouldn’t have to have it, but because I’m a Black man in America I did.”

Advocates say Derek Chauvin’s conviction for killing a Black man will be a pivotal moment in civil rights history, and a responsibility for a new generation.

“Young people of all colors simply came out and said this is not the kind of America that I want. And thanks to those young people they’ve given you hope and a new vision of what America may become,” said Carl Snowden, with the Caucus of African American Leaders of Anne Arundel County

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Political figures across the country commented after the verdict. In a statement posted on Twitter, Governor Larry Hogan said “The senseless murder of George Floyd served as yet another reminder that we still have a long way to go to live up to our nation’s highest ideals. Justice has now been served, and we hope that this verdict will bring some measure of peace to the Floyd family and the community”

Ava-joye Burnett