On count 1: Guilty
On count 2: Guilty
On count 3: Guilty
And I sobbed.
I had been sitting in my backyard intending to read, but all I was really doing was staring at the electric pink blossoms still gripping the redbud trees and watching the wind ripple the water on the lake. I had a lot on my mind, so I never even cracked open the book.
When the clouds moved in, I got a little chilly so I went inside and absentmindedly turned on the news. I saw that a verdict in the Derek Chauvin case was expected momentarily, so I sat silent, my heart racing.
When the judge walked in the courtroom, my anxiety rose. I told myself I couldn’t expect these jurors to do what so few others had ever done before.
But they did. They found Officer Chauvin guilty, in the eyes of the courts, of murdering George Floyd.
I am not Black. I’m still trying to grasp the reality of systemic racism. I have never been followed by the police or interrogated for suspicious behavior. I have never lost a family member to police brutality. But I sobbed like a baby after Chauvin was convicted.
The last couple of weeks have been so difficult. First it was Daunte Wright. Then Adam Toledo. Multiple mass shootings.
Even for a privileged bystander, it never, never seems to end.
But today we got a little relief. A brief glimmer of hope that something, something could change. That justice was possible.
Many are telling us not to read too much into this one verdict. It doesn’t change the family’s grief. It doesn’t change the fact that more Black lives were taken by police today. It doesn’t diminish the fear some parents have each time their child leaves home. It doesn’t change the flagrant racism and hatred we continue to witness in our country.
But maybe this will help us find the strength to keep fighting for right. Perhaps it will prevent us from giving in to despair.
I am relieved. I am even a little hopeful. Perhaps Mr. Floyd has indeed changed the world.