Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd. There was never any doubt as to his guilt, given the video footage that we’ve all watched. But it still came down to whether twelve people on a jury were willing to punish a white police officer for murdering a Black man.
With this guilty verdict, something just changed in this country. This is the start of a new trajectory. The police now know that if they murder a Black person, they can lose their entire life over it. We’re entering an era of fundamentally increased accountability.
This is still just a first step in what will be a long and painful series of steps toward justice. As various activists are pointing out right now, the people who killed Breonna Taylor and others are still roaming the streets. And while George Floyd’s killer will rot in prison, George Floyd is still dead.
There will be so much more work to do, but today is historic – not just because justice was served in this one instance, but because this verdict helps set a precedent for these kinds of matters going forward. America became a more just society today.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report