PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The verdict came down and police walked Derek Chauvin out in handcuffs. But what happens next and how do our young people feel about the current state of community and police relations?
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller talked with two community leaders who interact every day with Pittsburgh youth and say they’ll need time to process.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Gets $1 Billion From Nationwide Opioid Settlement
It’s a tough conversation for adults, let alone children.
“It’s something that unfortunately most Black parents and Black adults and people who work with Black youth have to talk about,” said Gwen’s Girls CEO Dr. Kathi Elliott.
Dr. Elliot runs Gwen’s Girls, named after her mother. Her mom started the organization to empower young females, ages 8 to 18. Now she needs to talk to her girls about the recent verdict and shooting in Ohio.
“They are smart and inquisitive, observant young people who have thoughts and feelings and oftentimes may not even be asked how they are thinking and feeling about traumatic things such as this,” she says.READ MORE: South Side Violence Pits Bar Owners Against Residents With Police In The Middle
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller asked if she thinks the verdict will improve police and community relations in Pittsburgh.
“I’m not sure. I think we’re hopeful that it will,” said Dr. Elliott.
Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher Sean Means walked into class Wednesday morning, prepared to dive deep into what this verdict means to the 17- and 18-year-old students in his class.
“It was probably one of the first times that they really saw a verdict like this where an officer was convicted of murder,” said Means.
He teaches social justice at Westinghouse Academy and will continue the conversation Thursday with this question: “If there is no kodak — if there is not footage of that situation, do we have this acquittal?”MORE NEWS: Washington County Leaders Reminding People That Rental Assistance Is Still Available
“One thing that we want to continue to remind and come back to is how are we going to get our students to figure out how we can work with systems to make things better?” asked Means.