I've been watching the murder of George Floyd in prime time for a year, and today the jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder. Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
He faces from ten years to forty years in prison.
As we all know, a feisty young woman videotaped the murder of Floyd and uploaded it to her social media, instantly creating a viral video for all the world to experience. We saw a man being killed before our eyes. We heard him beg for mercy and say "I can't breathe" and finally die as the police officer kneeled on his neck for almost ten minutes.
The guilty verdict is finally showing we can find some accountability in the American courts when it comes to police officers killing black people.
We saw that fellow police officers who worked with Chauvin came forward and told the truth, not covering up the murder.
During the trial, the prosecutor was incredible and extremely clear when he said this case is about one police officer, and that it's not anti-police but instead, pro-police to put him behind bars.
But without that video taken on a cell phone by a young woman as she tearfully and fearfully watched a man die at the hands of a police officer, slowly, we may have never known the truth about the murder.
If we start with today's verdict, perhaps we can believe this is a new day in America.
Perhaps we can all remember that every person, no matter their job, is an individual and unique in all ways.
There are no cookie-cutter-created police officers or anyone for that matter.
We are all different, no matter the hats we wear when we work.
This guilty verdict was a long time coming, and history shows us that many, many, many innocent black people have been killed for no reason, just because they were driving or walking or running or sleeping in their own beds.
But we must not stereotype police if we are to solve this problem. It's time for that sigh of relief.
Tonight, justice is served.
Tomorrow, it's time to fix our fractured system and help build a better model for all law enforcement so we stop the senseless killing that rages daily in our communities.
It's time for black people and all people of color to be safe in our country.
What are our next steps to reinvent our systems and offer true equality and justice for all?
As a nation, we can't continue to live with this grave injustice and racism that is an ongoing epidemic.
Chauvin will not face sentencing for about two weeks for the killing of George Floyd. He faces up to forty years for second-degree murder, up to twenty-five years for third-degree murder, and up t often years for second-degree manslaughter.