Calls to action for the work that remains undone — that was the message from political leaders and candidates in New York City just hours after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder.
The mood at Barclays Center was a sense of quiet relief with a glimmer of hope.
The plaza has become a central gathering spot for demonstrators, elected officials and candidates running for office, and they gathered there on Wednesday, after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder.
Mayoral candidates Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer and Maya Wiley all spoke to the crowd, acknowledging the verdict brought a sense of relief but much work remains to be done.
"Today I stand here with all of you and I say no more," Morales said.
As the crowd grew it remained calm as candidates took the opportunity to make their pitch to a crowd that has long called for police reform.
Wiley, who formerly served as Mayor Bill de Blasio's chief counsel, has proposed cutting the NYPD budget by at least $1 billion, promising to put funding towards mental health services and what she calls "trauma-informed care."
"We are not done until we right size the police department, until we say trauma informed-care and mental health services, we aren't fixing the problem," Wiley said.
Morales, one of the more left-leaning candidates in the field has promised to defund the NYPD by $3 billion. Her campaign has garnered support from some progressive groups and lawmakers.
"It's important to take a moment to celebrate, because these moments are so rare, but important to keep our eye on the prize," Morales said.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer also joined the crowd, but refrained from speaking, saying he was there to listen to demonstrators.
"I think that people feel a sense of relief with this verdict, but they recognize there is a lot more work to do, this doesn't change the systemic racism in our city," Stringer said. "This is an opportunity to hear people, to be an ally."
Meanwhile on the Upper West Side, Ray McGuire, the former Wall Street executive, held a press conference alongside Gwen Carr — the mother of Eric Garner whose death at the hands of the NYPD in 2014 helped launch the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Today, justice was served. Mother Gwen Carr and I went to Minneapolis to stand with the Floyd family because there is much work to be done for fundamental reform," McGuire said.
Like Floyd, Garner died as he pleaded for his life, saying the words that helped launch a movement: "I cant breathe.”
The murder of Floyd last year kicked off weeks of demonstrations and violent encounters with police not just here in the city but across the country.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also joined the crowd, at times emotional, telling those gathered here a fight for justice must continue.
"Right here in this city, there is so much work that we have to do, so I don't want to rest on a conviction," Williams said.
Police reform will likely be a central issue in the upcoming Democratic primary race for mayor. Candidates here Tuesday night acknowledged much work remains to be done in the city’s own police department.