Derek Chauvin, the murderer of George Floyd, has been found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter as of 5:30 p.m. today.
When I heard the news, I released an audible sigh of relief. I watched a video on Twitter where a group of protesters changed a sign that read “Justice?” to “Justice Served,” and I cried. I know that I was not the only one.
It is heartbreaking that we had to wait this long for George Floyd and his family to receive this justice at all, and it is even more heartbreaking that his life was taken from him. We are so far from the change that needs to happen in this country and I hope that the momentum that was gathered this past summer and the fires that have been ignited across the country do not go out. So many names go unsaid and so many families never receive the accountability and justice that they deserve. The death of George Floyd ignited something strong in our nation and I am hopeful that more change is coming.
I spent some time talking to my co-workers about the verdict. We discussed the importance of the continued conversations and the strong calls to action that have occurred over the last year. Social media has allowed a type of communication and community that wasn’t available in years past. The way information is shared and spread is quite literally instantaneous, and that allows us to grow and learn as a community.
It is unfortunate that we had to fight and protest to get the result we did today. It is heartbreaking that we had to still hold our breath as the jury deliberated. There were moments when we worried that the right verdict would not come to pass, and that is beyond unacceptable. The fact that we had to wait almost a year for the verdict is disgusting. I can’t think of a good reason why Chauvin wasn’t already behind bars serving his sentence.
This case is a testament to the realities of the justice system and it is terrifying how much we had to do for this one man and his family to receive the justice they deserved.
Some people say the system is broken, but it is not. The system was built like this and it needs to be torn down and rebuilt so that proper justice and protection could be served for all.