Guilty On All Counts: But Hold That Celebration!

It’s time to Break It Down!

I’m gonna keep this short.

Yesterday, some might say, ironically, on 4/20, the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts:

Second Degree Murder

Third Degree Murder

Second Degree Manslaughter

When asked, one-by-one, the 12 jurors acknowledged they agreed with all three counts. In summary, as required by the rules of the court, the decisions were unanimous, one and all. Sentencing is scheduled for 8 weeks from yesterday. Chauvin’s bail was revoked on the spot, and he was remanded into custody.

It has been nearly 11 months since Officer Chauvin extinguished the life of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, by applying a knee to the neck…for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. In the ensuing months, America was subjected to another long, hot summer, in large measure, due to marches and protests across the nation, spurred on by Floyd’s murder. An execution which, as fate would have it, was videotaped from start to finish.

The slogan, “Defund the police,” was injected into the country’s vernacular. At its essence, it supports divesting funds from police departments and reallocating them to non-policing forms of public safety and community support, such as social services, youth services, housing, education, healthcare and other community resources. By most, but not all, accounts, it does not mean eliminating police departments.

A number of State and local governments have proposed or implemented reform legislation to change policing strategies and techniques. The House of Representatives has introduced federal legislation in George Floyd’s name. At first blush, this year, 4/20 was a good day, and not just for those who support legalizing Marijuana. Still, I’m uninclined to celebrate. First, despite the events of yesterday in Minneapolis, Chauvin’s conviction is an aberration, the exception to the rule. If there is anything history has shown us, it is that too often, yesterday’s outcome does not happen. In retrospect, there are too many instances when a law enforcement officer kills a frequently unarmed, too often black, man and subsequently evades conviction, or even a trial.

Yesterday, the stars aligned in just the right way, and jurisprudence was properly executed. I cannot; no, I will not, call this justice. Accountability, maybe, but not justice. And it’s just the beginning. Until yesterday’s outcome is the norm, and not the exception, we have more work to do. Since March 29th, the day Chauvin’s trial began, an average of 3 people a day have died at the hands of law enforcement. And, as quiet as it’s kept, the specter of an appeal still looms. To wit”Guilty On All Counts: But Hold That Celebration!”

I’m done; “holla back!”

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