Chauvin verdict is a big step towards more victories

Officers beginning to be held accountable


Gillian Kapinos

After almost a year of protests, riots and trauma, people can finally say George Floyd was murdered, and that he has finally received justice. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. This is a victory for not just Minnesota, but the entire country. Yet, this shouldn’t have to be such a celebration.

181 Black people have been killed by police since May 25, 2020, the date of George Floyd’s murder. Of those 181, 121 were listed as initial traffic stops, yet it’s so rare for a police officer to be charged for these killings. This number is saddening, nearly 200 lives lost by the hands of the people who supposedly protect and serve, and is nothing to celebrate.

The victory of Chauvin being prosecuted for murder shouldn’t have been the first one in Minnesota, as 26 percent of police involved deaths since 2000 have been Black people. Most of these cases haven’t been looked into more than the standard investigation. Why is Chauvin the very first one to be covered by the mainstream media on this level? Because racism didn’t end in the 1960s, it’s still around, and people can’t seem to admit it.

Hate crimes against Black people have nearly doubled in 2020, and this doesn’t show change, or justice. When the civil rights movement came to a close in the 1960s, people assumed that everything was good, and they got what they wanted. But it’s the opposite actually, Black people were silenced. They have been silenced for more than 50 years, and now they’ve come to a breaking point.

The peaceful protests I’ve seen destroyed by police officers is heartbreaking, because it just keeps proving that they will not stop silencing people of color even when they’re just standing with a sign. When white people go to protest their alleged injustices of having to wear masks, with loaded guns, there is no police presence — yet when people of color protest the injustice of their family being murdered, they are attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets.

The Chauvin verdict is a big step to more and more victories, and now we see that a white officer can be brought to justice. Now we know that there is some sort of hope, and we shouldn’t stop fighting. We can’t just sit by while people are getting murdered in our own city, because now we have proof that if you keep pushing, if you don’t sit down, change can happen.