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EXCLUSIVE: George Floyd's nephew, Jacksonville civil rights leader react to Derek Chauvin verdict

Cortez Rice said the verdict won't bring his uncle back, but it does bring the family some closure.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and half years in court Friday for the murder of George Floyd.

Floyd's nephew spoke out after the verdict exclusively to First Coast News. He said the verdict won't bring his uncle back, but it does bring the family some closure. 

Cortez Rice, Floyd's nephew, said he cried all day because he'll never see his uncle again.

“It’s been so overwhelming the feeling that I have," Cortez Rice said. 

Rice said his emotions are all over the place, ranging from sadness to relief. 

“l was looking at his number all day today and just wanted to call him and tell him I love him, I wish I could see you again, l wish your kids could see you, I wish this never happened to you," Rice said. 

He has this message after hearing the sentence for Chauvin. 

“We need love and hope among us in our world," Rice said. "We don’t need all this hate. We’ve already had too much hate in this world.”

“Our marches, our rallies, our demonstrations here in Jacksonville and around the world made a difference," Ben Frazier said.

Ben Frazier is the president and founder of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, a civil rights organization. 

“I hope it sends a message of racial reckoning," Frazier said. 

Frazier believes the verdict goes way beyond the Minneapolis courtroom. 

“It’s bigger than Mr. Chauvin, the matter of his sentencing and his verdict," Frazier said. "We’ve got to look at the full impact of this situation.”

Frazier said that impact includes continuing to improve race relations and the relationship between police and the communities they serve.

Activists must continue to push for and to ensure truth and justice for all," Frazier said. "This is not just a moment. This is a movement."

Rice said this is just the beginning for the family in their search for justice by bringing about equality and change not just for Floyd but for all victims of police brutality. 

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