Derek Chauvin Trial

Connecticut Awaits Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial

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There's a lot of anticipation for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial around the country and right here in Connecticut.

"We have many incidents here in CT, so we can't put a blind eye to what's going on," said Scot Esdaile, president of CT NAACP.

Just this weekend, dozens of people participated in a vigil to honor victims of police brutality in New Haven. About 100 people gathered outside the police station on the Yale University campus on Sunday to honor victims in our state and across the country, as well as call for change.

We've seen several Black Lives Matter protests over the past year and many Connecticut residents and community leaders are calling for change.

"We got a 13-year-old in Chicago, and we have cases right here in the city," said Bishop John Selders, co-founder of Moral Monday CT. "How can we change it so we don't have a mere traffic stop turn into another death of a young African American or a Latino young man in our communities?"

State leaders say they are ready to support Connecticut residents when a verdict comes down.

"The verdict does not alleviate the part of system racism that will still outlive this particular trial," said Dr. Maysa Akbar, chief diversity officer of the American Psychological Association.

Akbar encourages everyone to take a break from watching continuous news coverage. She said every minute absorbed could be triggering.

"What if that was my child, what if that was my brother, my father, my uncle? Every moment that we spend in this level of exposure is moments that we continue to exacerbate this racialized trauma," Akbar continued.

She said coping is different for everyone, but what's important is to recognize that it's okay to experience an array of emotions. The best way to handle this is to process your thoughts, find people who understand what you're going through and possibly even take action, Akbar said.

"How you can productively channel that anger is say 'what is the best way for me to engage in my activism around this particular topic that I feel passionate about?'" she said.

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