The City of Erie, like many cities, is preparing for the reaction in the wake of Derek Chauvin’s verdict in the death of George Floyd.
Here is what we know about Erie’s plans to respond to the upcoming verdict.
The City of Erie has a plan for any possible negative response to the verdict, but activists say that regardless of the outcome there should be a peaceful response.
“You’re hurting me, you’re hurting me. Stop, I can’t breathe,” said Andria Stelmack, Moderator of Erie Equal.
Andria Stelmack is a moderator of Erie Equal. She is recounting what many around the world saw.
George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe.”
Stelmack said that she is anxious to see what the final verdict is going to be.
“It’s a really tense time especially to be a white ally in this moment and re-watching as the closing arguments started today,” said Stelmack.
Chauvin faces three charges. The maximum sentence in Minnesota for a second degree murder is 40 years in prison, 25 years for third degree murder, and 10 years for manslaughter.
“To me he killed him in cold blood and second degree manslaughter doesn’t sit well with me either,” said Stelmack.
Regardless of the verdict, the City of Erie has a plan for the unexpected.
“Either side could be upset. There’s two sides to this. One of them is going to lose and we have a different plan for each side, but we do have a plan,” said Mayor Joe Schember, (D) City of Erie.
Although the City of Erie has a plan in place, Stelmack said that Erie Equal is an organization that is committed to nonviolence.
“We commit ourselves to nonviolence. Erie Equal and Erie Action are fully committed to nonviolence,” said Stelmack.
Erie Equal is a local activist organization that was established after the May 2020 riot in Downtown Erie.
That riot was a response to the death of George Floyd and social injustice.
As the mayor said there is a plan set in place in case of any violent response.
The mayor also said he hopes that everyone in the City of Erie can come together and fight racism.