The Verdict Is In.
By: MPAC D.C. Bureau
We are encouraged by today’s verdict convicting Derek Chauvin on all counts for the murder of George Floyd. To an entire community, our justice system is a trial, verdict, and death sentence that begins and ends with law enforcement. We must do better to ensure that the people’s system of justice applies to all people, including Black people. Justice is more than correcting for unnecessary murder. True justice is preventing these instances from even occurring.
History is witness to the grave miscarriages of our justice system against Black America. With a year of protests and campaigns to find justice for George Floyd, the road has not been easy. Had this been the other way around, a Black man who took the life of a white man, the evidence needed to reach this verdict would have been a fraction of the mountain of evidence provided for this case. This level of rigor should be required for convicting any and all suspects, regardless of their race, identity, or religion.
George Floyd should be alive today. While he has received some amount of justice posthumously, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, and countless others await redress. Our constitution guarantees certain freedoms that to date have been unevenly applied and, to some, unavailable. This moment demands our full attention, our swift action, and our collective humanity. Human justice requires that ALL Americans, including those under oath to protect and serve us, are answerable to the law and the people. Chauvin’s conviction marks a clear step toward police accountability in America. Police brutality and the traditional failure of our courts to hold officers responsible for the murder of suspects is not just a Black — it is a HUMAN problem. The jury verdict today is a step toward mending our broken justice system, which has been unequal for far too long.
Just as the open casket of Emmet Till haunted America sixty years ago, the footage of George Floyd’s murder became a generational inflection point and the inception of a worldwide social movement. When Keith Ellison stepped in to lead the prosecution of this case, it was the culmination of his lifelong work to seek justice for Black, Muslim, and all communities. As the first Black and Muslim man to hold statewide office in Minnesota, he represents the aspirations of many. Too often, we watch and wait as injustice is served to one of our community. Today, we American Muslims are proud to witness a Black Muslim attorney general lead this case, with our shared values of human dignity, one step closer to true systemic justice.
The next step: pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.