Murderer Derek Chauvin’s detestable smirk was nowhere to be seen when the judge read the verdicts handed to him by the jury after a day of deliberations. And it wasn’t because his punchable face was hidden behind his face mask, because Chauvin’s eyes told the story of the day: He is going to prison for a very long time.
His blue lies mattered and the jury saw right through his absurd and offensive defense that saw his attorney blame Mr. Floyd for his own death.
Derek Chauvin, forever known as convicted murderer Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of the absolutely brutal murder – lynching – of Mr. George Floyd. You know the details and so I will not recount them here, preferring to give you a moment away from the trauma many of us carry after watching those nine minutes.
He faced three charges and was found guilty on all three:
Count 1: Unintentional Second degree. (It was intentional)
Count 2: Third degree murder. (It was targeted)
Count 3: Second degree manslaughter. (It was focused, not reckless)
Now the police officer will serve significant time in prison. Watching him be handcuffed and perp-walked out of the courtroom was cathartic for many, and social media erupted when the verdicts were read by the judge.
The only people upset are racists who hate any hint of even the idea of justice being received by Black people.
And the truth of it all is this version of “justice” is thin and rare, and no matter how much Black people want this conviction to be a turning point, there are an equal number of racists in police departments and police unions and all levels of lawmakers who will work just as hard to see that this conviction remains a legal anomaly.
President Biden and MVP Kamala Harris called and spoke with the Floyd family as they celebrated the conviction, with President Biden saying “It can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again.”
Vice President Kamala Harris said: “Because of the use of smartphones, so many Americans have now seen the racial injustices that Black Americans have known for generations – the racial injustice that we have fought for generations. Here’s the truth about racial injustice; It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all.”
The president and Vice President both mentioned the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which passed the House and now awaits review in the Senate.
To level set you: The Senate still has not passed anti-lynching legislation because white GQP members want that option in their back pocket should they succeed in overthrowing the government during the third wave insurrection they are plotting.
To level set you again: Simultaneous to the president and MVP Harris speaking about Chauvin’s conviction, Columbus police shot and killed a 15 year old Black girl, Makiah Bryant, who had called police for help because girls were fighting outside her house.
There is no rest in the pursuit of justice in America because justice is often seven letters devoid of meaning for Black and brown people.
Mr. George Floyd’s family celebrated and deservedly so because the horror, trauma, and life-altering events of that day will forever be with each of them, especially his little girl who proclaimed “My daddy changed the world.”
Let her believe her words, just like her daddy would.
May her words reverberate through the halls of justice and shake the hearts of the men and women who control whether justice rains down like a mighty river or continues to be a very light sprinkle for the least of us.
Convicted Murderer Derek Chauvin will have plenty of time to think about why he murdered a man in cold blood and with such nonchalant brutality and devil-smirk on his face. Here’s hoping he flies his blue lives matter flag proudly in his cell. I am certain he will be safe.
In addition to the George family and Black and brown people celebrating the conviction, there are others who must also be celebrating, including:
All the good cops who must be happy the “rare” bad cop is off the force
Tough on crime people who vote for tougher crime laws, more cops, & more prisons
Evangelicals who judge people for low level sins so certainly they’ll harshly judge a murderer
Police unions who don’t have to worry about a dangerous murderer on the streets
Blue Lives Matter people since Chauvin won’t get the death penalty
After a year of protests that forced cities and states to reckon with daily outrage generated by nonstop videos that captured police brutality, the country must contend with its lack of oversight of the police. There is much work to be done, many laws to change, and many other parts of policing that will need to be thrown out, reimagined, defunded, or changed in some way because what the nation is now doing simply isn’t working.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a start – a good start – but a start nonetheless, and certainly much more will need to be done. And it is possible to tear down and start over in some places, reimagine in other places, defund in still other places. The point being that there isn’t only one way to address policing just like there’s more than one way to create a vaccine for a virus.
Whatever America decides to do, Mr. George Floyd won’t be here to see it, or criticize it, or ignore it.
But we owe it to him, to Breonna Taylor and Amaud Arbery, and thousands of others who for too long have been unimportant and ignored involuntary soldiers on the front line of the war on Black people.
Let’s all hope that the tides of war are turning and that Mr. George Floyd’s memory continues to be the impetus that leads America away from its centuries’s old attempts to catch slaves and keep them in order.
Rest in power, Mr. George Floyd, and may the truth of your life be a reminder that for at least this one time, blue lies mattered to a jury.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton
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