WATERLOO -- Waterloo Region residents were watching the decision in the Derek Chauvin trial closely on Tuesday.

Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree murder Tuesday in the death of George Floyd last May. The death sparked international outrage after bystander video revealed Chauvin had his knee pressed on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.

“It simply equals accountability, which is the least amount that a system can provide,” said Selam Debs. “The reality is justice would be if George Floyd was still alive.”

“What people don’t realize is that we are trying to prevent future George Floyds, that is what we are doing and the idea that because there is no Waterloo George Floyd, does not make the Waterloo Regional Police Service any less harmful than the Minneapolis Police,” said Teneile Warren of the African Caribbean Black Network Waterloo Region.

Waterloo regional police did not respond to CTV Kitchener's request for comment on the verdict.

Guelph police provided a statement, which read in part: “This event has had a global impact affecting our local community and all communities in Canada. We acknowledge this and are committed to taking a leadership role to ensure our community can be an example for others to follow in the elimination of bias, prejudice and racism.  We are committed to listening, learning and working collaboratively with our community as we seek to make real and lasting change.”

While the Brantford Police Service said, “The tragic death of George Floyd, has created a collective awareness of racial injustice and an opportunity to create real, meaningful change for Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities. Police services have had to engage in difficult conversations related to the systemic racism that exists in law enforcement and the justice system as a whole. The Brantford Police Service is committed to enhancing safety for all, by engaging and supporting a unified community.”

George Floyd’s death prompted thousands of people to gather for a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in Kitchener last June.

Debs helped to organize the march.

“Thirty-six thousand people show up in-person during a pandemic,” said Debs. “Coming together in solidarity, organizing to protest against police brutality, injustice, and oppression."

The Waterloo resident says despite the verdict, she’s left with a feeling of grief.