PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – When Maria Scruggs heard Minnesota judge Peter Cahill read three guilty verdicts for former officer Derek Chauvin, a feeling of relief consumed her.
“It was like, whew, okay, okay,” said Scruggs “So it was, it was, what I did not see was one black person that said it was going to be guilty. That it was going to be guilty. I did not see one person feel that confident.”
Scruggs is the former president of the St. Petersburg chapter of the NAACP. The last couple of nights she says have been sleepless.
“Last night, I got up at about two o’clock and had some tea and I said Lord if you could just bring us this verdict tomorrow, it will be a guilty verdict,” Scruggs said.
At Lat and Sons Family Hair Care on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, Ronnie Fisher also was pleased when he learned the verdict was guilty.
“Finally, you know in a case like this, high profile, justice was served,” said Fisher. “And, we didn’t have a big mess afterwards.”
Joy Daniels stopped by the shop and feels justice has been served.
“You know, there’s been a lot of talking and emotions with it. Because we’ve had plenty of trials that have happened and they have not ruled in the favor of the just. So they finally got it right this time,” Daniels said.
Scruggs hopes this is a positive step in healing a divided nation.
“I am cautiously optimistic that this country may begin to become authentic about the issues of systemic racism and that maybe this country will be serious about doing something about it,” Scruggs said.