Derek Chauvin Found Guilty On Three Charges

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Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

The family of George Floyd leaves the Hennepin County Government Center after the trial in Minneapolis on April 20, 2021.

Sam Renz, World Views editor

On Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2021, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three charges related to the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, a video of which quickly took the world by storm. The jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The jury comprised of 12 jurors, including about six white jurors, and six mixed-race or Black jurors.

Given the magnitude of this event, many people are tuning in to their news channels and listening to different opinions on the issue. Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, described the relief he felt at the guilty verdict, after having spent the night worrying about the outcome of the trial. Many other people have also had some faith in the justice system restored now that Chauvin is facing the consequences of his actions that day.

Others are reminding us that, while we can certainly celebrate this victory, the work is not done. For example, Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr., posted to Twitter at 5:08 p.m. EST, “Today, justice has been served for the Floyd family, but we still live in a nation clothed in injustice… We need an overhaul of systems deeply rooted in racism.”

This event did come with some wildly outlandish opinions that were immediately shut down. In response to Don Lemon’s “Justice has been served,” conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro posted to Twitter at 5:12: “And we all know he would never have said this had the reverse verdict been reached.” Shapiro was quickly served by Twitch streamer Hasan Piker, who responded, “almost like there’s a difference between a murderer going free or not.” Piker received more than twelve times the amount of likes that Shapiro received.

Speaker Pelosi has also received backlash for her horrendous take on this trial. In a speech, Pelosi said, “Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.” Many people did not take this remark kindly, for she reduced an innocent victim of police brutality into a talking point to be used for virtue signaling and political clout. University of Illinois professor Barbara Ransby summarized this reaction on Twitter at 6:39, “He did not SACRIFICE his life. His life was violently taken.”

Overall, aside from these few outlandish responses, most people seem to be celebrating this verdict with caution, keeping in mind the many societal issues that are still existent today. With this in mind, we should celebrate the improvements in the justice system thus far, but strive for more improvements in the future.