More than a year after George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, justice was served after a jury who found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, sentenced him on Friday to 22 years in prison. This would be the first time in Minnesota State that a white police officer would be charged and sentenced for the death of a black civilian. This act signal hope that institutionalized racism and its handmaiden police brutality against blacks will be rolled back.
Floyd, 46, was killed in May 2020 after officers arrested him on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20. He was handcuffed and forced to face-down on the street, while Chauvin passed a knee to his neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd repeatedly yelled, “I can’t breathe”, this touched a raw nerve globally but was ignored by the police officer, who had served for nearly 20 years. Indeed, Chauvin’s dismissal and conviction are worth celebrating.
In response to the conviction of Floyd’s killer, the United States President, Joe Biden, in his speech, stressed the need to fight systemic racism in policing nationwide.
Biden further stated that;
” No one should be above the law and to deliver real change and reform, we can, and must do more to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies”.
Indeed, Chauvin’s white chauvinism reflects everything that is wrong with racial relations in America. Former President, Barack Obama, hit the nail on the head saying, “if we are being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict on a single trial.” Justice for George Floyd is just the beginning, the ultimate objective is the full realisation of equality so loftily espoused in the US Constitution.