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'I believe our country is also on trial' | Derek Chauvin trial brings forth emotions and hits home for Ferguson

"I think this can be a changing moment for us. This is an Emmett Till moment for our country. How will we react as a country?" Ron Johnson said

FERGUSON, Mo. — It's one of the most high-profile cases we've seen.

The murder trial of Derek Chauvin charged in the death of George Floyd.

On Monday, closing arguments were made and now the world waits.

The outcome of the trial could be a trajectory for the future.

It's the past that's shown us though, this isn't the first time we've dealt with a case, similar to this.

Maxi Glamour uses their voice to vocalize the pain felt throughout generations.

Showing up to protests fighting for justice, not just for George Floyd.

Because before Floyd died in Minneapolis, Michael Brown died in Ferguson.

Different names and faces and zip codes, but the message is the same: something has to change.

Credit: Maxi Glamour

"It hurts so much. A lot of people are just fed up. That’s why people are in the streets. They are saying this system is inherently flawed and you need to do something. We are going to show upset we are and you need to do something or this chaos will continue," Glamour said.

For retired Captain of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Ron Johnson, he said, he can't help to look inward as a Black man watching this trial.

"I think you start to see yourself when you see George Floyd on the ground for nine minutes and 29 seconds, you see yourself," he said.

And looking outward, the ongoing protests and the outcry is all too similar.

He witnessed this in our own backyard in 2014. Johnson led the police response in the Ferguson unrest.

Credit: Ron Johnson

"I believe our country is also on trial right now. I think it takes us back to Ferguson, but it also tells us we have a long way to go for our country," Johnson said.

Political science professor William Hall said the Chauvin case is just a piece of a larger puzzle.

"In many ways, what you’re seeing is the frustration of those particularly in minority communities," he said. "It's a loss in confidence in the ability of law enforcement to protect their community."

For a half-century, Hall has studied politics.

He said Chauvin's case explains more of the culture of some police departments. 

"His actions may not have occurred if he did not believe the culture of that department would not support it," Hall said.

Hall said it's important to build that trust back.

For now, it's nine minutes and 29 seconds that could potentially make a lasting impact and change for what's to come.

"I think this can be a changing moment for us. This is an Emmett Till moment for our country. How will we react as a country?" Johnson said.

As for a verdict for this case, it has to be unanimous.

If there's a split, results could lead to a hung jury and a mistrial.

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