Washtenaw County Sheriff Responds To Derek Chauvin Verdict And Addresses Local Protesters

Apr 20, 2021

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
Credit Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says he, like others, feels no joy in the guilty verdicts of Derek Chauvin but agrees there is some sense of relief and validation.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the sheriff about his reaction to the verdicts and shares his support of public protests and encourages them to be done in a safe manner.


Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says the case of Derek Chauvin found guilty on three counts in the death of George Floyd was "another stain on the profession, another death of a human being that looks like him."  But he says he can support the outcome of the trial.

Sheriff Clayton says the discussion about reimagining police should coincide with many other reimaginings, including equal education and economics and health for all.

He says if police have to be one of the visible parts of that, it should be done thoughtfully, deliberately, and strategically, while making sure we don't cause more harm in making these changes.

The sheriff suggests we begin by sitting down and by having the necessary conversations between the government and the people and says people need to trust the decision-makers.  He says those conversations need to be about what makes people feel safe and that should be discovered together.  Sheriff Clayton adding, "This is about the world and how we interact and relate to each other and respect and honor all human life."

Sheriff Clayton says he respects and supports people's constitutional rights to protest and express themselves and demand accountability from the people who serve them, and the sheriff's department is going to continue to support that process.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu