Wichitans hold vigil following verdict in George Floyd case


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Following Tuesday’s guilty verdict of former police officer Derek Chauvin, a small group of Wichitans organized a vigil in solidarity with George Floyd and his family. The vigil was held at McAdams Park, 13th and Ohio.

“Last summer, we saw so many people marching and standing for justice,” said LaWanda DeShazer, a Wichitan at the vigil. “We don’t want that to be in vain. We want today to be the first day of moving forward.”

“I want the people of Minneapolis to know Wichita stands with them. I want George Floyd to know that Wichita stands with him,” said Chanel McCray, Wichita. “It’s a first step in the right direction,” McCray said.

DeShazer said they are pleased with the Chauvin verdict but are not content. She says there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.

“It’s going to take more than one person to bring us together,” said Treva Graham-Smith, a Wichita community activist. “Wichita Police Department has been really accessible, as far as standing in on the meeting and all of that.”

During the prayer, some who attended became tearful while Pastor Moe Evans shared a few words with the group.

“It wasn’t tears of sadness, it was tears of joy. They started flowing,” said Graham-Smith. “It’s just a proud moment.”

Graham-Smith said there will be a car procession celebration of Tuesday’s verdict on Saturday, April 24, at 3 p.m. at McAdams Park. She said anyone interested in participating is welcome.

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