When the verdicts came in — guilty, guilty and guilty — a sense of relief, of accountability served and crisis at least temporarily averted, was palpable across the United States on Tuesday after a jury found Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in killing Floyd, a Black man who took his last breath pinned to the street with the officer's knee on his neck.

But when it came to what's next for America, the reaction was more hesitant. Some were hopeful, pointing to the protests and sustained outcry over Floyd's death as signs of change to come, in policing and otherwise.

Others were more circumspect, wondering if one hopeful result really meant the start of something better in a country with a history of racial injustice, especially in the treatment of Black people at the hands of law enforcement.

But when it came to what's next for America, the reaction was more hesitant. Some were hopeful, pointing to the protests and sustained outcry over Floyd's death as signs of change to come, in policing and otherwise.

Others were more circumspect, wondering if one hopeful result really meant the start of something better in a country with a history of racial injustice, especially in the treatment of Black people at the hands of law enforcement.

Beverly Mills, 71, of Pennington, and Elaine Buck, 67, of Hopewell Borough, found themselves thinking back through history as they reflected on the verdict in Minnesota.

“I was bracing myself for what would happen if he did get off," Mills said. “I couldn’t even wrap my mind around it because I thought, then there is no hope.” Mills said she was on her senior class trip to Washington, D.C., one of just four Black girls out of a class of 200 or so, when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

“Washington and all the major cities were starting to erupt and they wanted to get the kids back to New Jersey. As the train was leaving, you could see the smoke starting to circle in the sky,” Mills said.

Will the verdict change anything? Buck said: “It will make everybody aware that we’re watching you. We’re videotaping. What else are we supposed to do?”

There’s still a hard road ahead, said Jonathan Har-Even, of Glen Ridge, and the verdict, while important, doesn’t necessarily feel like a victory.

“It feels like a step in the right direction,” said Har-Even, who is white. “It feels positive, but it’s hard to feel victorious.”

A day after the verdict, a civil rights group in Newark is planning a demonstration at4 p.m. at the Lincoln statue on Springfield Avenue.

“This is one case and it’s one case that had a good ending. But this one conviction in no way exonerates a criminal justice system that has been rife with institutional racism for hundreds of years," People's Organization for Progress leader Larry Hamm told NJ.com on Tuesday.

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New Jersey’s reaction to the Derek Chauvin verdict

The ruling came down today that Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all three charges against him in the murder of George Floyd. Do you agree with the verdict? What do you think about the whole thing? That's what Steve Trevelise asked his Twitter and Facebook following, here's some of their thoughts.