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April 17-23 Explained: Activism After Chauvin Verdict, County Police Oversight & Blight 'Deconstruction'

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Sarah Boden
90.5 WESA
Demonstrators march in Pittsburgh after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder on Tuesday, April 20.

On this week's Explainer:

Demonstrators marched in Pittsburgh to honor the life of George Floyd on Tuesday, after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on murder charges. But activists say there’s more work to be done.

"We hold space for George Floyd’s family, we’re grateful that they get this moment and we share this moment with them," said Brandi Fisher, who leads the Alliance for Police Accountability. "But we do not forget that this movement is not about individuals, that this movement is about systemic change."

WESA reporter Kiley Koscinski was with Fisher and other local activists at Freedom Corner in Pittsburgh's Hill District when the verdict was announced, and has been covering ongoing organizing efforts in Pittsburgh for nearly a year.

Moments before the jury announced its verdict in Minneapolis, officials pushed forward a proposal to create more police oversight in Allegheny County. WESA’s An-Li Herring covers Allegheny County Council and reports it's still uncertain whether a bill to create a county-wide police review board will pass.

And the City of Pittsburgh has announced a new initiative to deconstruct vacant houses, rather than just tearing them down. WESA's Margaret J. Krauss reports the process is slower but better for the environment, and represents a shift in how officials think about and address blight.

Pittsburgh Explainer is hosted by Liz Reid, edited by Lucy Perkins and produced by Katie Blackley. New episodes come out every Friday. Listen on the NPR One app or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.