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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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News + PoliticsProtestGuilty. Guilty. Guilty.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

In a historic moment, jury convicts officer on all counts of killing George Floyd.

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I am getting the feeling that much of the United States just felt a sigh of relief. It’s been 66 years since two white men lynched Emmet Till and were aquitted by an all-white jury. The list of Black people killed by cops who never faced justice is long and getting longer.

As Van Jones said on CNN, if the verdict had been not guilty on any of the charges, it would have been a devastating day for this country. It would have been a message that even in 2021, Black lives don’t matter.

Instead, as news anchor Don Lemon said, “justice has been served.”

The Floyd family’s lawyer stated: “This verdict is a turning point in history.”

It’s still just a small step: Police continue to kill people all the time, and get away with it.

“You were scared to hope this morning,” Jones said. “That shows how much we need change.”

Almost a year after Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, after weeks of trial and ten hours of jury deliberations, the verdict took about ten minutes. The judge read the three counts, with the word “guilty” after each of them.

Chauvin was expressionless as the judge revoked bail and ordered him remanded to custody. Although his formal sentencing won’t be for another eight weeks, he’s going to be in jail for a long time.

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison put it this way: “I’m not going to say this was justice, but it was accountability. And now it’s in the hands of the people of the United States.

There is still no justice for Mario Woods, Alex Nieto, Luis Gongora Pat, Amilcar Lopez, or so many others.

The mayor of Oakland is still resisting changes in the Police Department.

But there was justice for George Floyd, and that’s a start.

COMMUNITY REACTION:

Black LGBTQ activist Alex U. Inn, who organized many of the protests for justice, including the People’s March, over the past year, told us, “Justice has been served, but the work is not done. To see his ass be put in handcuffs and taken to jail was a moment of historical change. We now have a small window.

“Let’s take advantage of this people! The time has come to come together for racist systemic societal change! Look for a People’s March sponsored rally, location TBD, on Tuesday, May 25, the day that George Floyd was murdered and the day that reminded all of us that racial inequality is real!”

Defund SFPD issued the following statement: “While it may be tempting to consider this verdict a win, we know that a conviction will not stop cops from continuing to murder Black and brown people.

“Since the day Chauvin’s trial began on March 29, more than three people a day have been murdered by police, including Roger Allen, killed by Daly City PD. This system cannot be reformed.

“The only way to reduce police violence is to reduce the number of interactions between police and our communities. The only way forward is to defund, disarm, and disband the police.”

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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