(CBS SF) — Police departments around the Bay Area issued calls for calm and offered reassurance that officers were prepared for protests Tuesday ahead of the announcement of the jury’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.
It took the jury less than a day of deliberations to announce they had reached a verdict in the trial of the fired Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death. Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts.READ MORE: Project Home: Federal Court Strikes Down CDC Eviction Moratorium; What Does It Mean For Bay Area Renters?
The San Francisco Police Department tweeted out an advisory about the pending verdict early Tuesday afternoon, telling residents that officers were ready.
“The San Francisco Police Department would like to assure the public that we are prepared for the potential of demonstrations surrounding the conclusion of the trial in Minnesota,” the department advisory read.
The statement went on to say that the department had an operational plan to keep San Francisco residents and visitors safe, including the cancellation of days off for officers and additional staffing.
⚠️ PUBLIC ADVISORY ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/byuJFBwoBH
— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) April 20, 2021
The SFPD statement also said that the department is “committed to facilitating the public’s right to peaceful First Amendment expressions of free speech.”
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott later tweeted a thread in reaction to the verdict, noting that the work of doing justice for George Floyd does not end now that the trial is done.
(1/4) Today’s verdict concludes a criminal trial, but the work of doing justice for George Floyd doesn’t end today. My hope for all of us in criminal justice roles is that we rise to this moment, and learn the lessons that history has frankly been trying to teach us for decades.
— SFPD Chief Scott (@SFPDChief) April 20, 2021
“My hope for all of us in criminal justice roles is that we rise to this moment, and learn the lessons that history has frankly been trying to teach us for decades,” the post read in part.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed also issued a statement after the guilty verdict was announced.
“This verdict does not bring back the life of George Floyd. It can’t replace the years of his life that were robbed from him, nor the life experiences and memories that would have been made with his friends and family,” the statement read. “What this verdict does reflect is that the tide is turning in this country, although still too slowly, toward accountability and justice.”
Breed also noted that the need for action was about more than just this case; it called for drastic police reform.
“While we’re now months removed from the height of those protests, the need for action is as critical as ever,” Breed said. “This is about more than prosecuting the officer who killed George Floyd, though that is an important step. It’s about fundamentally restructuring how policing is done to move away from the use of excessive force.”
The Oakland Police Department Twitter account posted a video of Chief LeRonne Armstrong calling for calm and reassuring Oakland business owners “we are going to be out here in full force to keep everything peaceful.”
OPD calls for calm and peace. Chief Armstrong apologizes to those who had their businesses damaged on 4/16. He asks those who are going to take part in gatherings to do so peacefully. If you’re holding an event OPD will help facilitate contact email@example.com pic.twitter.com/AWyBGwUNsP
— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) April 20, 2021READ MORE: COVID Recovery: Bay Area Restaurants Struggle To Hire Staff Ahead Of Likely Big Mother's Day Weekend
Armstrong asked anyone planning a public event to contact the department for assistance in facilitating. He also apologized to the owners of the businesses that sustained damage in Oakland during overnight protests Friday that focused on recent police shootings.
Photo Gallery: Police Shootings Protest Turns Violent In Oakland
The protest over the deadly police shootings of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo began peacefully with 250-300 demonstrators marching through the streets of downtown Oakland early Friday evening. As the hours passed, splinter groups broke away along Broadway Auto Row and began creating mayhem.
Police later released an additional statement on the guilty verdict.
“We all must recognize that this moment is about accountability, justice, and reform. We must be compassionate, empathic, and forgiving,” the statement read. “All sides must unite as one community to effectively communicate. Together we will work towards rethinking policing in America.”
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted after the verdict was announced that it was just, but also pointed out the “deep structural racism that pervades our country” and needs to be addressed.
Today’s verdict is a just one, and it’s also an indictment. The deep structural racism that pervades our country – and leads to the state-sponsored murder of Black men like George Floyd and too many others – must end. Juries shouldn’t have to tell us this.
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) April 20, 2021
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín issued a statement following the verdict announcement Tuesday afternoon.
“For so many years, justice has been denied when African Americans have died at the hands of law enforcement. Today justice has finally been delivered. It is my hope that we can build on this moment and call upon local leaders to act swiftly and meaningfully to build lasting trust between marginalized communities and law enforcement to prevent more senseless violence,” Arreguín said in the statement. “Years of over-policing and under-resourcing communities of color have contributed to stark racial disparities in policing and use-of-force incidents.”
Arreguín went on to outline some of the changes being made with Berkeley Police Department policy to reduce “unnecessary — and potentially dangerous — police contacts with the community.”
The San Jose Police Department Twitter account retweeted a message from Chief Anthony Mata calling for peaceful protest and demonstration.
“I believe in protecting civil rights and liberties and ensuring our community members can exercise their First Amendment rights by peacefully gathering, demonstrating and protesting,” the statement read. However, it also noted that police officers also “have an obligation to protect property from vandalism, fire and other crimes.”
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A message from our Chief. https://t.co/Cb0FkP0Frt
— San Jose Police Dept (@SanJosePD) April 20, 2021
The San Jose Police Department received sharp criticism last May over how some of the protests in the South Bay were handled by police.