FRESNO, California. (KSEE) – Hours before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts he was charged with, including second-degree murder, Fresno city and county leaders joined pastors from the African American Clergy Conference to encourage a peaceful response from the community.
“If people want to gather and protest, they can do so peacefully. If there is a need for that in our community, we have plans for allowing first amendment free spaces where people can gather and be heard,” said police chief Paco Balderrama.
Although Chief Balderamma said he was not expecting any protests, he wanted to be prepared.
Some states ordered national guard troops to be on standby in anticipation of passionate responses from citizens.
“I went to sleep last night praying that I would wake up this morning not stuck in the nightmare of the reality of the day,” said DJ Criner from the African American Clergy Caucus.
Chief Balderrama also included comments saying policing will never be the same after the year 2020, and it takes the community working with the police and providing feedback for them to improve.
According to the Associated Press, Chauvin now faces 40 years in prison for second-degree unintentional murder, 25 years for third-degree murder, and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. Judge Peter Cahill indicated sentencing would come in about eight weeks.