Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is calling for community conversation as jurors in Minnesota deliberate the murder case against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
That deliberation could take hours or days, and regardless of the verdict, Hancock in a news release asked leaders in Denver to offer space — virtually or in-person — for residents to express their thoughts.
“Millions of people, including myself, have watched this trial, and it has been very emotionally charged, difficult and challenging for all of us. A very painful moment has been relived, reopening wounds not only in our personal experiences, but also in the very fabric of our society,” Hancock said in the news release.
Conversations should focus on how the local community, as well as the entire nation, can move “toward reconciliation,” Hancock said.
Faith and community leaders can provide that space for residents to speak out, Hancock said.
“After this trial, people will need a release for their emotions, so let’s have those frank conversations, no matter how difficult they may be, and promote our collective healing,” he added.
Jurors began deliberating Monday and resumed Tuesday morning. Following closing arguments Judge Peter Cahill denied a request from the defense team to declare a mistrial.
Chauvin, 45, faces charges of second- and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Denver police are prepared should protests happen after the verdict is announced, the department said in a statement. The department declined to specify how they are preparing and urged people to demonstrate in a safe and lawful manner.
Denver Post reporter Elise Schmelzer contributed to this report.
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