Reflections from the Derek Chauvin Verdict

George Flyod MuralOn April 20, 2021, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of the death of George Floyd. Many took to social media to share their thoughts on the trial and the verdict. We here at Uplift thought we would share some of those comments. 

 

 

Let’s say that Derek Chauvin is convicted and appropriately sentenced for the murder of an unarmed black man named George Floyd. Even if the best-case scenario is realized, it’s just one. One man. One conviction. One appropriate sentencing. Countless unarmed black people continue to die at the hands of police officers. 12 jurors cannot balance the scales of 400 years of white violence against black bodies and spirits. I can’t find hope in one conviction. It’s bad math. Hope happens when we change the equation. When every black person encounters white officers and the outcome is respect, recognition of each other’s humanity, and life not death. One trial, regardless of the outcome, cannot do that.-Ebony Utley

We now know exactly how depraved one has to be in order to be found guilty of murdering a Black person in the United States of America. And, just how much evidence is needed. The level of protest that is required. Justice shouldn’t be so hard. I truly pray that Mr. Floyd’s family finds some peace after this. What about the family of Daunte Wright, however? Or Adam Toledo? Breonna Taylor? Sandra Bland? Ayanna Jones? Michael Brown? I could go on, but, well, I’d run out of space. I wish I felt happier. What I mostly feel, however, is tired. And sad. We’re at a crossroads. Which path will we choose? It’s time to end the system of Warrior Cops. New systems of Community Policing must be established. The system we have protects property, not people. That’s what it was created to do. It’s time to try something new. #blacklivesmatter #AbolishThePoliceAmritaChakrabarti Myers

I’m not sure I completely realized how deeply this case was affecting me. I can’t stop shaking right now literally I can’t stop shaking— I don’t feel relief as much as grief because—in waiting for this trial to come and go—I have not been able to properly grieve. Seeing Chauvin taken away in handcuffs finally allowed me to grieve.-Yohuru Williams

A very strange relief. We are so used to racism winning. It’s so insidious. I will not celebrate that someone was convicted for murdering someone on camera, in front of the world, and showed no hint of remorse after. I am relieved, but, a conviction is at least what should be expected. One of the insidious racial moves is to make Chauvin a poster boy for the label “bad apple.” What we actually need to do is reassess the entire practice of policing. That was on trial, too.-Reggie Williams

I was 21 when the verdict came down for Rodney King. I am crying now. Not because justice has been served, but because of how many times justice hasn’t been served. I have been tense since the trial started because I firmly believed that Chauvin was going to get off scot-free. They are killing us, the punishment of one doesn’t stop that fact. Over 64 people have died at the hands of the police since this trial started. So, I am relieved, happy his family has some semblance of justice. But, I already know how much value my country puts on my life. And I will not forget.-Kimberly N. Brown

A man is dead. A guilty verdict is satisfying in a bittersweet way and will not bring him back. The American justice system has so failed and traumatized black people that many of us have no faith in it at all. So much so, that when what should be an “open and shut” case is actually decided correctly, we are surprised and relieved. The system has been known to turn on its own when doing so is necessary to preserve itself. I’ll celebrate when convictions become the “rule” and are no longer surprise “exceptions. We still have a lot of work to do.-Xavier L. Johnson

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