Now I’ll admit that I haven’t been following the Chauvin trial super closely. One of the reasons I didn’t was because of the fact that I actually thought he had a chance of being acquitted; I thought in this case, even though it was slim, he would somehow be able to skate by like George Zimmerman did in the Trayvon Martin trial several years ago. The Chauvin defense team was trying to argue that Floyd’s past drug use and his underlying health conditions was a factor in his death and trying not to portray it as a simplay “black or white” issue, but “gray” with how everything took place. The prosecution pretty much summed up what we all saw in that viral video of Chauvin murdering Floyd by kneeling on his neck for a long period of time. Finally, justice was ultimately served.
The jury gave a thunderous verdict to Derek Chauvin by finding him guilty on all accounts: second-degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. Moments after the trial, I saw friends and countless people posting on social media their praise and relief from the verdict. To me this trial was the culmination of the disaster that was 2020. Chauvin likely has the possibility of serving up to 40 years in prison and was handcuffed and walked in the utter shame that he deserves.
Hopefully now the Floyd family will have some semblance of peace and acceptance; however, in all honesty even with the verdict or $27 million settlement from the state of Minnesota, it will never erase or ease the pain that they and everyone else felt from watching their gruesome video last summer. Even though the trial is over and George Floyd’s murderer is finally behind bars, I believe that as a society we should not automatically revert back to not giving the attention these issues deserve.
The height of the pandemic last year and being told to stay in our homes allowed everyone to clearly see the injustices that still take place. Fortunately, that led to protests and walk-outs; as well as, the unfortunate looting and destruction of property. Everyone saw for themselves and had to speak up. However, as society is gradually starting to ease back before COVID-19, I can tell that more people are reverting back to not really addressing or even caring about racial issues anymore.
The death of George Floyd was the catalyst for waking a large percentage of people up, especially during quarantine last year when people had no choice, but to pay attention. Unfortunately, those same people that were marching or putting hashtags on social media are now going about their day as if the problem is already solved, when it is far from over.