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After Chauvin Guilty Verdict, Jackson Says There’s More Work Ahead

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Hours after the guilty verdict of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, about 70 people gathered at Fresno City Hall to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

But the focus quickly shifted forward as several speakers said that the work of police reform is only beginning.

“This last year for all of us has been extremely hard. And I can be real and say that I just needed to see my community, community members’ faces, give you all kind of like a socially distanced virtual hug, if you will. And just say I’m still here. We are doing this together. The work doesn’t stop here. This is just the beginning,” organizer D’Aungillique Jackson told the crowd.

The crowd gathered at City Hall after the Chauvin verdicts. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Jackson Reacts to the Verdict

“I had like a range of emotions come over me and I really thought that I was going to cry, but I didn’t. I think if anything, my main reaction was one of, honestly, like anger and peace at the same time.”D’Aungillique Jackson

Tuesday’s event was the latest organized by Jackson, the outgoing president of the Fresno State NAACP. She was recently elected as student body president and also serves on the Fresno Police Reform Implementation Team.

Last year, Jackson planned a peaceful rally in downtown Fresno in the wake of George Floyd’s death. More than 3,000 people marched and protested.

Jackson watched at home as a jury in Minneapolis returned three guilty verdicts against Chauvin in Floyd’s killing: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

“I had like a range of emotions come over me and I really thought that I was going to cry, but I didn’t. I think if anything, my main reaction was one of, honestly, like anger and peace at the same time. Because I felt that the charge, the main charge of second-degree unintentional, should have been first-degree intentional,” Jackson said prior to the event.

Jackson wants to see reform in the police department.

“I think that there are a lot of questions that are going unanswered with implementation in our own city. I think that we have heard across all of our communities and this is really just the beginning. This isn’t the end of anything at all,” Jackson said. “I think we have a phenomenal opportunity to be to be a representation of what change can look like and what positive change can look like.”

Jackson said she plans another rally around Memorial Day to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death and the Fresno rally.

Speakers Criticize Police

City leaders such as Mayor Jerry Dyer and Police Chief Paco Balderrama were in a crowd spread out in front of the water fountain and into the street.

Jackson passed the bullhorn to other speakers, including some well-known police critics. Ashley Rojas of Fresno Barrios Unidos advocated for eliminating police from the Fresno Unified School District.

Community advocate Gloria Hernandez — who served on last year’s Commission on Police Reform — called for police to stick to the 73 reforms the commission recommended in a long, sometimes rambling, speech. She mentioned the names of people killed in officer-involved shootings such as Isaiah Murrietta-Golding in 2017.

Standing, left to right: Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama (in uniform), mayoral aide Sarah Boren, Mayor Jerry Dyer, and Pastor Jim Parks attend a City Hall rally. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email