By Quentin Choy
April 21, 2021
Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed George Floyd, whose death sparked nationwide protests, has been found guilty on all three charges against him including second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Many people are relieved with the guilty verdict and believe that justice, or at least accountability has been served. If such a clear-cut case of murder in broad daylight like that filmed of Derek Chauvin and George Floyd was not brought to justice, then nothing would ever be brought to justice.
President Biden commented on the verdict, saying:
It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the Vice President just referred to — the systemic racism that is a stain our nation’s soul; the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans; the profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that Black and brown Americans experience every single day.
Several Republicans and conservatives believe that this verdict is wrong and that Derek Chauvin was “sacrificed” to the rabid mob and to Black Lives Matter. Newsmax host, Rob Schmitt said “I think you have pressure from all these activist groups going into all this. And I think at the end of the day people say, ‘You know what? If we acquit this guy, this city is going to burn to the ground.”
While increased demonstrations and potential unrest may have occurred if Chauvin was acquitted, in no way was Chauvin “sacrificed” to the mob. The jurors, like many across the world saw the same video that Chauvin’s defense tried to convince us we misread, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. Everyone who sat through the entire video felt something dark and disgusting within them, seeing such a heinous act carried out in broad daylight with a sickening calmness on the part of Chauvin. These jurors used simply held Chauvin accountable to an act that was so brazen and unparalleled since the recording beating of Rodney King in 1991.
However, conservatives should not feel disappointed at the verdict for several reasons. The guilty verdict wasn’t some liberal purging of police from society. Firstly, if you support the police, then this verdict should be positive for you since an officer like Derek Chauvin no longer represents the police and law enforcement. It’s also important to note that the Chauvin trial was not a trial against all police. Rather, the police have been cleansed of such a malignant officer as Chauvin who exacerbate tensions between law enforcement and communities.
Hopefully, with Chauvin gone and with accountability served, tensions between communities and law enforcement can be mended. There are still instances of police brutality and violence that go unaddressed, and challenges that still remain in mending this relationship. However, a guilty verdict for one of the most heinous acts of police violence in recent memory is a powerful step in the right direction for everyone.
Image Courtesy of NBC News.