Campaigners fighting against institutional racism across Tayside and Fife have welcomed the conviction of Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.
A jury found Chauvin guilty of second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter.
He killed unarmed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes last year.
The conviction has been heralded by Perth Against Racism (PAR), who say Floyd’s death is one of countless caused by institutional racism.
A spokesperson for the action group said: “This was a correct and just verdict and Derek Chauvin should be imprisoned for the crime he committed.
“George Floyd did not receive justice as there is no justice in a life taken. Rather, Derek Chauvin has been held accountable for his actions.
“The murder of George Floyd by an on-duty police officer in the US is but one of many such racist crimes in that country and elsewhere.
“It is institutional racism, a structural problem within society, that has led to these deaths and if this institutional racism and structural problem is not dealt with effectively, further deaths will be inevitable.
“Whilst the scale of the problem in the US is huge, there are comparable problems within the UK that require addressing.
“Indeed, there are many cases in the UK of deaths in police custody and failures to investigate deaths properly that require wider public knowledge, real solutions and structural changes to ensure that such occurrences do not continue.”
The action group say the case has proved the importance of having police bodycams.
The spokesperson said: “This is a victory for BLM but sadly the same day as Chauvin’s verdict, Makiyah Bryant age 15 was shot and killed by police, in the weeks of the trial Adam Toledo age 13 was shot and killed by police.
“Without the existence of video footage of Derek Chauvin killing George Floyd, Derek Chauvin would have in all likelihood not been held accountable for his actions.
“It is for that reason that PAR believes it is vital that filming of arrests and police actions continue and the creation and distribution of such films remain legal.”
Fife campaigner welcomes conviction
Fife BLM campaigner Mercy Kessy says the conviction is “a good start” and she is eagerly awaiting the sentencing.
The 24-year-old from Crosshill, who organised the BLM rally in Dunfermline last summer, said: “I really welcome the verdict. It’s a good start but it’s not finished yet.
“That’s one person. There are hundreds of others and this verdict will send out a message around the world and to police.
“It gives me hope but there is a long way to go.”
Mercy, who hails from Tanzania, said the case struck her as similar to the Sheku Bayoh case and hopes that his family will be next to attain justice.