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America served a taste of justice to George Floyd’s family with a guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin. The ruling for Chauvin shocked Black America. However, in 2021, justice should no longer be a surprise between black and blue citizens. This case touched a raw nerve in a country where several high-profile cases have ended with police officers either acquitted, not charged, or having charges dropped after killing unarmed black civilians. Many prayed that the Floyd case would be a sign of changing times.
Unfortunately, it is has become the norm for police to shoot unarmed Black men without merit or consequences. A new study finds that about one in 1,000 black males can expect to die because of police violence over the course of their lives. Despite the bizarre circumstances with the recent case, many were not expecting a white police officer to be convicted on the more serious charge of killing a black man. However, it seems the pandemic and police brutality proved to be the perfect recipe for accountability.
Amid the current American crisis of blue-on-black crime, critics continue to raise the conversation about black-on-black violence. Social media “activists” have suggested that it is ridiculous for black America to expect others to value their lives when they continue to kill each other. However, police brutality and peer-to-peer violence within urbanized communities are very separate issues that both need attention. Even still, justice should not be a shock for black America.
This type of inner extinction may fuel critics’ argument that black lives really do not matter. However, to suggest that this behavior is out of the ordinary only serves as a diversion from the real issue of race relations in this country while continuously waiving the responsibility of accountability away from those set to “police” the community. There is a lengthy history of recorded acts surrounding African Americans and authority figures, which for any normal person is undeniable. Sadly, so many want to deny it, but it also supports the theory that says, “When people are privileged, equality feels like oppression.”
Critics, both black and white, have said inner-city violence fuels the behavior of law enforcement. It is misconceptions like this that erroneously fuel America’s ignorance. Violent behavior towards the same race is not an act relegated to African Americans. Statistics confirm racial exclusivity surrounds most of the violent criminal activity, but strangely enough, white-on-white violence is simply called crime.
For anyone reading this who is not Black, or brown, there is a substantial portion of your fellow citizens in the United States of America who have little expectation of being treated fairly by the law or receiving justice. Perhaps this is a surprise, but white America has experienced this country much differently than others.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while being arrested on suspicion of using counterfeit money. During the arrest, Chauvin, a white police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds after he was handcuffed and lying face down.
Floyd’s death touched off international protests against police brutality and racial injustice. On Tuesday, the former police officer was found guilty on all counts for his involvement in George Floyd’s death, a verdict that could send the disgraced former officer to prison for the rest of his life.
This time, America got it right. Blacks are not the only ones declaring the murder conviction a “huge victory,” not only for the victim’s family but also for black people in America. Few police officers ever face trial for shooting deaths, and even fewer are convicted. In this case, the former Minneapolis cop faces up to 75 years in prison when he returns for sentencing in eight weeks.
True justice would have saved Floyd’s life but the accountability handed down by the jurors is worth celebrating. This, however, gave Black America a taste of justice for George Floyd. However, as the country awaited the verdict in this case another black life was being taken at the hands of law enforcement.
Many are ecstatic to finally witness a small seed of equality with the ongoing craze of police brutality. Thank you, America, for getting it right this time! Justice for Floyd gives the Black community the energy to fight on. Justice, America, and the Black community in the same sentence in almost unbelievable. The outcome of this trial gives the Black community the energy to fight on. Even still, in 2021, justice should not be a shock with blue-on-black violence. This is just a taste of justice, and hopefully the beginning of accountability!
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
VOX: Black-on-Black crime isn’t a valid argument against police brutality
San Francisco Chronicle: Derek Chauvin is guilty. So is American policing
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