Religious leaders anticipated and responded to the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, program manager for the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, was part of a group of faith and community leaders that gathered for the reading of the verdict. Their calls for peace and justice were covered by ABC News, NBC 5, and the Los Angeles Sentinel.
Smith-Pollard was also quoted by Voice of America and the Minnesota Spokeman-Recorder. She was interviewed by KFI AM 640 as well. Here is an excerpt from Voice of America:
Community leaders and activists who say they are fighting to reform policing in the U.S. say Floyd’s final moments, captured on phone videos, have galvanized people worldwide about issues of race and law enforcement. The verdict, they say, is a moment to recognize what people have experienced and what needs to be done.
The Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, a Los Angeles pastor, said her church and organization are preparing gatherings for after the verdict.
“One of the things that we hope to accomplish is to use this opportunity, to use this moment, to bring community, congregations, residents here in Los Angeles together so we can collectively process our pain,” she said. “But also use this moment to talk about where do we go from here?”