ROANOKE, Va. – For many, the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin resulted in a complex mixture of emotions. Even though the verdict was swift and decisive, the trauma continues.
“It was just a moment of will justice be served,” questioned activist Bernadette Lark.
“I felt they were going to find him not guilty,” reflected activist Shakeva Lark.
Millions around the world waited to hear the murder conviction of Chauvin with bated breath.
“This is one of those moments where you’ll remember where you were when the verdict came down,” stated Dr. Deneen Evans, a counselor with Mosaic Mental Wellness and Health.
Many were skeptical, many more were ready for the next fight — a new fight that brings on new trauma.
“We all have dealt with societal trauma – trauma that goes back generations,” stated Evans.
Evans says many people need to acknowledge the trauma brought on from these experiences, especially Black Americans.
“Even though we don’t have that kind of tension in Danville, when I rode past the cop I was thinking, ‘If he stops me, is he going to mean to me today because of that verdict?’ And I didn’t even know the cop,” recounted activist Shakeva Frazier.
With reports of mass shootings and ongoing police brutality surfacing on a near-daily basis, all mixed in with continued headlines about the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
“Having it out there has normalized it. You know it’s just not you,” stated Dr. Evans.
Evans also says prioritizing the things you like to do, relaxing and breathing is simple yet effective.
“I breathe a little better thinking my son could be okay. I’m thinking that we may have approached a new day, but at the same time I’m still kind of tense, to be honest,” exclaimed Frazier.
“We’ve come too far to turn around now. So, you hang in there,” said Lark.