The verdicts are in, and Derek Chauvin has been found guilty. This does not bring George Floyd back to his family, friends, and his child. It does not prevent the trauma of seeing his life squeezed away at the knee of a police officer whose job it was to protect him. It does not mitigate the pain of Black and Brown people who continue to be victimized by bad policing in this country, including Ma’Khia Bryant who was just 16 when her life was taken last night.
But these verdicts feel like a baseline of accountability, a step on the path towards justice. Justice demanded in streets all over the world, fought for by people who understood that no human should die the way George Floyd did and made closer in this moment of accountability by a jury of members of his community.
Healing is necessary, but to achieve enduring systemic change in this country, we need long-term and systemic accountability. There must be laws in place that lead to fairer and more humane policing. Electing state lawmakers who champion the policies needed for fair policing is one way to protect the humanity of every person in this country.
Let us embrace this moment of accountability, and use it as fuel to continue urgently working toward justice.
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