Yesterday, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on two counts of murder and one for manslaughter for the death of George Floyd, an African American man whose near last words were, “I can’t breathe.”
And from that day the verdict referred to, on May 25, 2020, ignited a fury for social justice needed for Floyd and many others whose black skin color share a common trait, for having their lives disregarded by law enforcement officers. What is often noted, is that people often judge African Americans apprehended by police officers as “thugs”. “druggies”, and whatever else makes privileged folk concerned, when one does the slightest act of suspicious or illegal behavior. So with such judgement, there is a constant reminder that their lives are more threatened in police confrontations, as they may not survive to get any necessary due process. And often, there is no crime or prior suspicion. Black lives, like any other, need to get go for a nice walk, get a slice of pizza, get a good night’s rest, and other human things. And they matter on the basic principles to be judged on the same level as others confronted by law enforcement.
George Floyd had a life of many ups and downs, which sadly lead to some bad choices involving criminal activity, and drugs. However, he did often try his best to turn his life around, and sometimes succeeded in being a positive influence to others at times. He was a mentor, a father, a blue-collar working class man, and a loved African American whose potential to better himself and others was robbed by Derek Chauvin. He just need better days ahead, to work his life out. Sadly, Derek Chauvin robbed him of that opportunity.
So, Derek Chauvin was given his most important day for due process, and found guilty. Prison will give Chauvin a time to reflect and dig deep on the wrongness of his actions. His might even appreciate that he was given this chance to live through it, and do other human things. I will care less for him, but will appreciate any further good that comes out his guilty verdict.
But what of the rest of us? What do we get out of this? We shall see. In the meantime, also keep in mind other fresh names since, to other similar sad stories: Daunte Wright, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, Breonna Taylor.
The above picture was from a sidewalk memorial in Seattle, a few weeks after the death of George Floyd. Pictured with George Floyd is Breonna Taylor, another life senselessly lost from wrongful police actions in 2020.