Tucson-area NAACP president shares thoughts on Chauvin murder trial

“There is a lot of hope and faith on this trial”
Updated: Apr. 3, 2021 at 5:56 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -- Dr. Cheree Meeks is the President of the Tucson-area chapter of the NAACP.

Meeks has been watching the trial of former police office Derek Chavin’s trial. Chavin is accused of killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck during an arrest. His trial began this week.

“It’s reminds me of the pain, it reminds of the experience and the trauma that people have as a result of being black in this country,” said Meeks.

People across the nation are glued to their TV as the first week of testimonies wrapped up. For many watching the trial, it is reliving the trauma of what the world witnessed on May 25, 2020.

“It has been quite traumatic to watch things,” she said.

Moments during the testimonies brought Meeks to tears like hearing 61-year-old Charles McMillian.

He testified in court and broke down after watching a video of Floyd begging for his life during his arrests.

“To hear the people that were there, who pleaded with the officers to help George Floyd,” she said.

Despite the many different emotions this week brought she applauded the officers who testified against Chauvin, calling it a crucial moment in the trial.

“You gotta speak truth to power and the reality of what he did was wrong. They did the right thing by saying that,” she added.

Although the case is states away, it hits close to home for many in the black community in Tucson. She said the NACCP is working to bridge the gap between the community local law enforcement.

“To ensure that our concerns are heard by law enforcement, so if this situation that very much can happen in Tucson, we ensure that it doesn’t,” she said.

Meeks said she hopes the trial is a chance for the world to come together so that history does not keep repeating itself.

“I hope we see this as an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to recognize the lived and current experiences of black people in the community,” Meeks said.

Meeks said the NAACP will have meetings with the Tucson Police Department regarding the best way to approach safety measures for the community as we get closer to hearing a verdict.

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