On May 25, 2020, the world stood still for a total of nine minutes and 29 seconds.
That was the last time George Floyd would let out his last breath with his last words being “I can’t breathe” as ex-police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck.
Immediately after this took place, riots sparked, protests spread citywide and “say his name” became a national chorus in the months following Floyd’s death.
After Floyd’s death, over 450 major protests took place that were held in cities across the United States, including rallies where protesters lay down in streets yelling “I can’t breathe,” while others paraded with signs that read, “Stop killing my friends”—“Justice for George Floyd” and “Say his name.”
Now, almost a year later, justice was served on April 20.
Chauvin will pay for his actions by being convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. As a result, Chauvin could face up to 75 years in prison.
With Chauvin being convicted of murder, America can only hope that this will get the ball rolling in terms of getting justice for the past stolen lives caused by police brutality and racial injustice.
This could mean justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a Black jogger who was shot by Travis McMichael in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020.
This could mean justice for Daunte Wright, a Black man who was pulled over for expired registration tags and Kim Potter, the ex-police officer who shot Wright could get a stiffer charge for mistaking her gun for a taser.
This could mean justice for Makhia Bryant, the 15-year-old Black girl who was shot four times by officer Nicholas Reardon This death took place only minutes before Chauvin was found guilty.
According to New York Times, in America, there is a one in 2,000 chance of a killing by the police leading to a murder conviction. This conviction could be a turning point to greater accountability.
Nothing can bring back a life. But in a country where police are rarely held criminally liable for murdering people, especially Black and brown people, this moment matters.
Anybody who is fortunate enough to still have breath in their lungs can get involved with making their voices heard by posting on social media to inform others of the injustices, signing petitions, donating to the family of victims and Black-owned businesses and attending local protests and marches.
Supporting small, Black-owned businesses can help them grow. Businesses such as “Rj Boutique” ran by Jasmin Korbieh, a junior healthcare administration major, “Beads and Beyond by Sabi” ran by Joanne Akuoko, a senior, health science major and “Nick’s Sewing Projects” ran by Nicholas Grier, a junior art major. These businesses are student-ran and thrive off of local support.
Chauvin’s verdict brings us closer to equal justice. As we celebrate, know there is still work to be done and we must reform the system in order to achieve the goal.
This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator staff.