The Attorney General for Minnesota said it best yesterday: this was not justice for Mr Floyd. This was accountability. The man who murdered George in broad daylight in front of witnesses and on camera was held accountable for his actions by the criminal justice system.
I think this is why yesterday’s verdict felt so weird. It was definitely the right verdict, and I’m glad Chauvin was found guilty. I was relieved for the city and the communities of color. But I also felt hollow and sad yesterday when the verdict was announced.
It took some reflecting to discover why.
If you look back to last year when it all started, remember Chauvin wasnot initially charged and just put on leave. It took a city burning (many cities in fact) to even get the officer fired, arrested, and charged.
Then the long, drawn out process of even getting to court. Then the rig Anatole of the trial itself. All the while the BLM movement kept protesting as Black men continued to perish at the hands of the police.
Hell, Daunte Wright was killed by a police officer at a traffic stop just miles from where the trial was taking place!
Then we have Ma’Khia Bryant. Shot and killed by the police at a domestic disturbance in Columbus as the verdict was being delivered.
Maybe this verdict will trigger police reform. Maybe it lets them know they’re touchable. Maybe it will put a permanent crack in that insular wall the police seem to have that protects them from being prosecuted. I don’t know.
I do know we’re far from justice. But maybe closer to police accountability than we were before.