CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - People in the Charlotte community say they are bothered and stressed over the Derek Chauvin trial. The former Minneapolis police officer is charged with the murder of George Floyd.
“I cried every time,” Char-Meck NAACP President Rev. Corine Mack said. “They cry - I cry. Every time I saw it I cried. Every time I heard it - I cried.”
Mack has been watching the trial and was concerned when she saw testimony during week one that had people on the stand blaming themselves they didn’t do more to save George Floyd’s life.
“So the guilt that they are walking around now in some ways,” Mack said. “Will have adverse effect, while the person who is on trial - Chauvin - is cool as a cucumber.”
The NAACP leader says this trial brings up thoughts of bias, discrimination, and often strained relationships between police and community. She was troubled at the beginning of the trial when lawyers concentrated on Floyd’s addiction to opioids. In her eyes, she thought they were putting George Floyd on trial and depicting him a drug addict.
“Never ever did anyone ever think that his issue was pain killers,” Mack said. “That so many white people have gone through and in the white community when they have an addiction to pain killers - it is conceived as a health care crisis not criminalization.”
Novant Health Licensed Therapist Jaren Doby says people’s feelings about the trial are valid.
He has been a therapist for nearly a decade. He says he has helped both professionally and personally help people deal with their emotions concerning this trial. He says the first thing people who are triggered by what’s happening in the courtroom is to be aware of their feelings and there are others.
“You’re not experiencing this alone as there are countless individuals that are able to do that,” Doby said. “Also outside of being able to acknowledge it, like make sure that you’re taking the action that you feel most comfortable in being able to take, whether that is joining a positive organizations. Taking an opportunity to pair yourself with folks that have more knowledge or more resources and things of that nature in order to lift up black voices.”
Doby also recommends to know when absorbing too much of the trial is a problem.
“It’s everywhere you look,” Doby said. “It’s everywhere that you listen, whether you’re on the radio and things like that as well. I mean actively being able to take a step back from it right - recalibrate yourself. Process it naturally as it is that you need to and knowing when you’ve had enough for the day.”
The therapist believes to tackle the issues and feelings that are highlighted in the trial - it will take more than one race.
“It’s not something that just comes out of the Black community,” Doby said. “It’s going to take members of the White community, Asian community, Indian community, the Hispanic community - everyone to lift up - bond together to recognize that this is an issue.”
The local NAACP leader says she uses her faith to help her cope with the trial but wonders how much more people of color must endure.
“We are dealing with so much,” Mack said. “And yes - we are resilient people, but we are people. We are human beings.”
Doby says if you need help to cope and process the trial - seek assistance. There are organizations that can help.
Doby says you can reach out to your healthcare provider for assistance or contact these other organizations: