Raleigh NAACP calls for calm as community leaders react to closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Nationwide anxiety is building around the Derek Chauvin trial.

Demonstrators vandalized the police department and shattered storefronts in downtown Raleigh and Durham.

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Despite a weekend filled with demonstrations, Raleigh NAACP President Gerald Givens Jr. has called for calm.

"What we know is when we are out there demonstrating nonviolently, it brings people toward us. When we are acting in a violent way, that doesn't work," said Givens.

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The NAACP president invited demonstrators to take their frustrations to city and state leaders who spearhead policy changes.

"I'm going to be frank and honest with you: there are two types of justice systems in this country," said Raleigh social justice activist Kerwin Pittman. "One justice system for those who are particularly Black and minority and for those who are white. We're tired of seeing the justice system fail us but also brutalize us at every turn."

Pittman was on the frontlines of demonstrations days after the death of George Floyd and is now anxiously awaiting the verdict. Despite that, there is a glimmer of hope. The trial has united some and created allies in others.

"If the police aren't held accountable particularly when the perpetrator of the murder is a white man, it sends a message to all communities of color that our lives are valued less," said Ricky Leung, with North Carolina Asian Americans Together.

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