Derek Chauvin, a white ex-cop, was convicted on Tuesday of the murder and manslaughter of African-American George Floyd. Chauvin pinned Floyd to the pavement with his knee for over nine minutes, as Floyd begged for his life and bystanders unsuccessfully implored the police to stop killing Floyd.
The guilty verdict was a “breath” of fresh air for Black America and for all those who value racial equality.
Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop was convicted on all counts in the death of the 46-year-old Floyd, whose killing sparked worldwide protests.
Crying hard tears right now, maybe things are changing in America? #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
— Isiah Thomas (@IsiahThomas) April 20, 2021
President Joe Biden said the conviction of the former Twin Cities cop is a ‘giant step forward” in the march toward racial justice in America.
Biden, speaking from the White House, also said Floyd’s murder has ‘ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systematic racism” as he called on lawmakers to pass a police reform legislation named in his honor.
The May 2020 episode sparked massive outrage over racism and illegal use of force against unarmed Black citizens by police in the United States, as visuals from the incident, were circulated widely on social media.
Under Minnesota state law, Chauvin faces at least four decades in prison, although he will probably get much less time under state sentencing guidelines.
Let’s hope this #GeorgeFloyd tragedy really does change the world. Too many lives lost. Time for change.
“There must be accountability for violating the laws” — Hero Keith Ellison
Minnesota Attorney General pic.twitter.com/ACbXQr9dOT
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) April 20, 2021
President Biden was adamant about passing meaningful police reform legislation in Floyd’s name and he also said it shouldn’t take a year to get done.
He and VP Kamala Harris both spoke with Floyd’s family following the historic verdict and assured them they’ll continue to fight for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
The proposed legislation prohibits racial profiling at every level of law enforcement while banning chokeholds, carotid holds, and no-knock warrants institutes a national police misconduct registry.
It also revamps legal protections to law enforcement and requires officers to undergo training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
VP Harris called on the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to hold law enforcement everywhere ‘to the highest standard of accountability and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities.
NBA and players are have expressed their support for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is currently in the hands of the US Senate.
This verdict also played a huge role in sports especially the NBA as they had contingency plans in place if the verdict was different.
Some pro leagues braced for the potential of protests following the verdict in George Floyd's killing — the NBA told its teams to have plans ready — but games went on as scheduled.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) April 21, 2021
With the league being 75% African-American, this was a huge day and the league had to be on pins and needles knowing they’d already boycotted games in the “Walt Disney Bubble” following the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. in Wisconsin. It’s safe to say the Chauvin verdict could’ve possibly brought the season to a screeching halt without it ever restarting had the jury’s verdict gone the other way.
So with that part of the victory solidified, now comes another huge moment in eight weeks, which is when Chauvin will be sentenced. Remember, we are less than a season from the league being all in, players putting pressure on and playing on courts emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter.”
The conviction is about accountability, now we need a sentence to really say justice has been served.