Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, was found guilty on all three charges brought against him in a verdict delivered Tuesday.
While millions of people celebrate the guilty verdict and the administration of justice, Amnesty International says there is more change still to be done.
“Officers using excessive force, whatever the result, must be brought to justice. That’s what happened in the Minneapolis courtroom today,” said Paul O’Brien, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.
Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for his involvement in the death of black man George Floyd on May 25, 2020. A Viral video taken by a bystander of the white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds sparked widespread outrage and a nationwide movement pushing for racial justice and police reform.
Bringing attention to the broader issues at hand, O’Brien continued on to say, “This outcome is not enough, because George Floyd’s tragic death made all too clear the systemic failures of policing in the U.S. and that Black and brown communities bear the brunt of police violence. The truth is that Derek Chauvin being held accountable for killing George Floyd is the exception- not the rule.”
Paul O’Brien called on the nation “to address the systemic failures of policing and bring about meaningful public safety for those that have been historically overpoliced.” Specifically, he said, “This must include shrinking the size and scope of law enforcement in daily life, eliminating qualified immunity that creates a barrier to redress for victims of unlawful policing, demilitarizing law enforcement, and enacting strict limits on the use of force altogether.”
While millions are relieved to see justice administered in the form of Derek Chauvin’s conviction, the AIUSA Executive Director notes that “true justice for George Floyd would require him to still be alive.”
Although it was the catalyst that fueled a movement, the death of George Floyd is just one of far too many instances where Black Americans have been treated with prejudice and even killed at the hands of a law enforcement officer.
On April 11, 20-year-old black man Daunte Wright was fatally shot during a traffic stop gone wrong by a Minnesota officer who reportedly mistook her gun for her taser.
Tuesday’s guilty verdict marks a tremendous step toward accountability in an incredibly impactful and high-profile case. It is a step in the right direction and gives hope to the millions of Americans who have participated in the movement toward racial justice over the past year.
However, the fight for racial justice is not over yet and many Black Americans do not feel that they can rest easy as things are currently. While Tuesday’s conviction should be celebrated and is a huge win for racial justice, it also gives hope to a movement that is ongoing and continuous.