Published in the Guardian on 21st April 2021
Derek Chauvin, a police officer who was charged with the murder of George Floyd, was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin will face up to 40 years in prison. Philonise Floyd was the only member of the Floyd family to hear the verdict in person and he shared “I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice”.
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer who represents Floyd’s family, stated that “Justice for Black America is justice for all of America.” Crump commented that this verdict represents a change in the accountability of law enforcement agencies and hopes that this message will be heard, loud and clear, across the country.
The Floyd family was contacted by President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris after the verdict was announced. President Biden said to the family that “Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice. We’re all so relieved.”
When the verdict was announced, hundreds of people outside the courthouse celebrated the news. Prior to the verdict, national guards troops had been stationed across the city in case there was an acquittal, which might have incited violent protests. The trial is not over yet because three of the officers who witnessed George Floyd’s murder and did not intervene will be tried in court later in the year.