Cheers and groans at Manhattan courthouse after Trump verdict: ‘We got him’

Shortly after 5pm, a crowd of several hundred people outside 100 Centre Street erupted into simultaneous applause, cheers and groans. Above the park across from the courthouse, a helicopter hovered loudly. Print and broadcast reporters rushed to get into position, their cameras and mics poised in the air.

Donald Trump had been found guilty of all 34 counts of fraud.

A heavy sense of shock and relief appeared to hang in the air, with many protesters, counter-protesters and onlookers wearing a look of surprise. Some wore red Maga hats. One man waved a sign that read “Guilty” in big bold letters. In his hand was also an American flag.

“We got him ... Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of this grifter ... This is the beginning of the end, folks,” the man, who identified himself as Bill Christeson, told reporters.

Another man waved a yellow sign that read: “God, strike Trump dead. Judge, free him.”

Speaking to reporters, the man, who wore an orange mask and a red Maga hat, said: “New York is a machine state. New York City is a machine city ... There’s not a lot of sense in New York City.”

Nearby, a verbal altercation broke out between a protester wearing a Trump 2024 flag and a protester holding a sign that read: “Trans people are good people.” The latter yelled: “We need work! We need food! We need to pay rent!”

In response, the Trump supporter shouted: “You’re a socialist, that’s why! Get a fucking job!” A flurry of shouts of “Fuck you” were then swiftly exchanged as reporters and onlookers clamored around them.

Meanwhile, a man wearing a light-blue shirt and a hat that said “#1 Fan” groaned loudly as he looked up at the sky.

“Oh god, I’m going to vomit,” he said exasperatedly. He then put his hands on his knees and bent forward while holding a sign that read “Free Father Teresa”, an apparent reference to Trump likening himself to Mother Teresa earlier this week.

The man heaved, but nothing came up. Shortly after collecting himself, the man, who identified himself as James, stood up and went to join another Trump supporter wearing a Maga hat.

Together, they yelled at a crowd of reporters, saying: “He’s a native New Yorker. Don’t forget that. I’m a native New Yorker!” One reporter said: “He’s a convicted felon!” In response, the man in the light-blue shirt shook his head forcefully, saying: “Not really, not really. It doesn’t count!” The other Trump supporter chimed in, saying: “There’s a lot of bullshit that happened here.”

Laurie, a woman who had been a regular figure outside the Trump proceedings over the last several weeks, and who declined to give her last name, said: “It’s the right verdict, it’s correct.”

“I think there was a preponderance of evidence, that was glaring, to convict him … they had witnesses and he didn’t take the stand to refute, they didn’t put him on the stand,” said Laurie. “Maybe because he lies all the time and it would be too difficult to rein him in.”

Another onlooker, named Karen, was outside across the street from court after the news broke and shared her relief: “This is a sign that there is something salvageable in our version of democracy ... nothing is over, he’ll tie it up in the court systems forever, but we’ve got to take our celebrations when we can.”