Derek Chauvin’s verdict – Accountability, not Justice
On April 20th, Derek Chauvin, the man who murdered George Floyd almost one year ago was finally convicted as guilty on three counts, second-degree murder, third degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. While many people are calling this verdict justice, with Nancy Pelosi going as far as to say that George Floyd “sacrificed himself for justice”, which is problematic to say the least, we need to remember that this verdict is accountability. This verdict has held accountable the institution of policing and made visible its constant use of excessive force and the systemic racism built inside it that is caused from white supremacy.
This verdict does not magically end racism, especially when Chauvin is one of the few cops who have been convicted of killing innocent black people in the name of supposed self-defence. Not to mention that at the time of the conviction, a sixteen-year-old girl in Ohio named Ma’khia Bryant. Police also killed thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago, Dante Wright in Minnesota. Moreover, to those who are backing up the police for stating that these people were resisting arrest or perceived as a threat in any way, they fail to understand that the police are not supposed to kill, period. Furthermore, when comparing white mass murders, they are treated with a gentleness that black people do not have the privilege to experience, because this is an issue of white privilege when looking at white mass murders.
White people have aimed firearms at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, and they have the luxury of being invited to the Republican National Convention to speak of how they were defending their home when in reality they are actually racist. Yet in the case of black people, black children who are actually defending themselves, they are more likely to walk away from the situation dead with no one hearing their side. They do not even need to be defending themselves, just their existence is perceived as a threat to an institution that was created to keep enslaved people in check.
May 25th will mark one year since the death of George Floyd and while the world has opened further discussion on police reform and systemic racism, things have still stayed the same. People profit off the tragedy of Breonna Taylor in the name of fundraising and documentaries when the most important action that will do her legacy honor, is to charge the officer who murdered her. To honour the legacy and properly give justice to the victims of police brutality and racial profiling, we must reform this institution that was built on the ideals of white supremacy.
By Isabella Del Grosso