On The Murder of George Floyd and Derek Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
Last night, as the world watched with bated breath, the jury announced the verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who murdered George Floyd in the full view of an audience last May. He was found guilty on every count. He was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
It’s hard to know what to say in moments like this. Because no matter how this ended, it will always be a tragedy that did not need to happen.
“ Floyd died after Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd lay facedown, hands cuffed behind his back.” NINE minutes.
I still can’t wrap my head around the kind of hate and vitriol that some people in this country have towards black people.
As has been said in so many words, this was not justice, it was accountability.
I am especially thinking of the 17 year-old girl who had the courage and bravery to record the murder of George Floyd, without which this accountability would never have happened. I am thinking of George Floyd and all that never was for him. I am thinking of his daughter, another black girl who has to grow up without her father. I am thinking of his family and friends, for whom there will always be an empty space in their hearts. I am thinking of all us who could barely breathe all day yesterday and who refused to trust a system we knew had failed us over and over again.
I know there is so much to do. I also know that the fact that we were so relieved and surprised that a murderer was in fact held accountable for his actions shows that we can and must do better as a nation. It is also proof of the impunity with which they kill and degrade black bodies. I know all this too well.
Yet, seeing that murderer in handcuffs brought a deep sigh of relief. Maybe it will too for the aforementioned 17 year-old who continues to worry she didn’t do enough and wakes up at night worrying if she could have done more; or the EMT who wept on the stand; or the store clerk who worries about his role in this; or that older gentleman who broke down in tears while testifying.
At the very least, maybe, just maybe the next time another person wants to kneel on someone’s neck or kill another black body with such impunity, maybe they will think twice.
Rest in peace, George Floyd.
Black lives will always matter.
Originally published at http://www.themoderncedar.com.