The headlines scream that policeman Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of all charges, in George Floyd’s death! The former Minneapolis police officer will be sentenced in the 2020 death of George Floyd. Chauvin was declared guilty of 2nd and 3rddegree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter. Chauvin, who is a white male, was convicted of killing Floyd, who is a black individual, by kneeling on his neck in May of 2020. ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said that the Association respected the Minneapolis jury decision in the trial of Derek Chauvin but emphasizes that a single verdict neither indicts all law enforcement nor offers solutions to systemic inequities in the judicial system.
What is Accountability?
Nancy Pelosi’s remarks on 20 April, followed a jury declaring a guilty verdict on all 3 counts against Officer Chauvin in his court case following Floyd’s murder. She stumbled on, but not without halting, for the a brief moment, to acknowledge the hurt of that invocation. Pelosi moved on, with lawmakers and a D.C. crowd looking on, with other police and military officers on stand-by, tasked with maintaining ‘law and order’ in case the verdict was not guilty, tell-tale indication of the US government’s faith and trust in the country’s legal system. The excessive police presence indicated the country’s faith in the verdict when neither the law, nor any order would answer the needs of Black people in America. “Heart-breaking.” Yes, that’s one word for it.
This verdict is not a “good” thing, it was rather the only thing. Chauvin isn’t the only individual who needs to be held accountable for the George Floyd’s murder. While his actions will gain jail time, he was not alone. There are no “bad apples.” He should not be looked as the ultimate enemy that, once convicted, would magically fix the “justice” system for American Blacks. The entire system of racism and white supremacy is equally, if not more, responsible for this, must be held accountable and then dismantled. The country’s entire justice system seems to be enabling and encouraging Black abuse and death. That is the system that is upholding “justice.”
To exclaim that George Floyd has become a beacon of hope and symbol of justice is to negate the whole flawed system that even allowed an officer of the law to dig his knee in to the back of the neck of Floyd in broad daylight, for a whole nine minutes and 29 seconds, and his fellow accompanying officers just stood there and they did nothing. Justice comes at a price in America for Black people. Justice will not come until we dismantle the systems that perpetuate it. Empty words of rhetoric ignore Floyd’s story as a coloured man who was murdered by the police, and conveniently ignore the trauma that this entire process has re-ignited for the Black community, once again. Is George Floyd a martyr for uncertain “justice.”
“Justice,” just like “sacrifice,” is a pretty dangerous word, though. It has constantly invoked by the Black community, but in reality, justice has been abused by lawmakers who continue to refuse justice for Black people, daily. Justice is used to signal a return to the correct order of balance the scales which govern our country. Nothing about this situation is either fair or just. As many point out, real and timely justice would have ensured that George Floyd was alive today. Justice was taken away, twisted and distorted; no justice was served, despite the enormous sacrifices made.