Many said they had prepared for a different result after watching countless deaths of people of colour at the hands of police who went unpunished.
Many downtown businesses had boarded up their windows for fear of a repeat of the violent street clashes that unfolded previous year between police in riot gear and protesters, some of whom set fire to a police precinct house and damaged nearby property.
"A measure of justice isn't the same as equal justice".
Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, whom Republicans sought to censure for calling on protesters to "get more confrontational" if Chauvin was found not guilty, told reporters: "I'm not celebrating, I'm relieved". This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is we still have work to do. Why should we not feel tired when we hear White imaginations self-soothing with the thought that a few firings and convictions can fix this historically unjust system?
With that outcome, Black Americans from Missouri to Florida to Minnesota cheered, marched, hugged, waved signs and sang jubilantly in the streets. Still, it can not take away the pain.
"For being there to call out to your mom", Pelosi continued.
Today's verdict has been hailed by many as a step in the right direction and people took to streets across the United States to celebrate the news. Armed National Guard and law enforcement had been activated to guard against a repeat of last year's riots in some areas including Minneapolis.
In Houston's Third Ward, the historically Black neighbourhood where Floyd grew up, a small crowd gathered under a tent near a mural of Floyd to listen as the verdict was read on TV. Toward the end of the video, Floyd appeared unconscious. A government lawyer told the jury, "This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video". The jury did not ask any questions of the judge during their deliberations. Authorities said four officers were arrested; their cases are pending.
Speaking after the verdict, Minnesota's attorney general Keith Ellison - who was the lead prosecutor on the case - did not describe the verdict as justice because "justice implies true restoration". They stopped and they raised their voices because they knew that what they were seeing was wrong.
Bishop Michael Fisher of Buffalo, New York, also issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon, after the jury's verdict was announced: "Today's verdict of accountability in the tragic killing of George Floyd is an important step in healing the deep wounds of racial tension caused by his senseless killing".
In Cleveland, the verdict came after city police officer Daniel Piper fatally shot murder suspect Innes Lee Jr., and an unidentified, undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent shot 20-year-old Trayvon Johnson outside his home in the city's Hough neighborhood. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.