There can never truly be justice for George Floyd, but we got as close to it as we can expect to come Tuesday when a jury found killer cop Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in Floyd’s horrific death. The nation will never forget what it saw as Chauvin cavalierly snuffed out Floyd’s life. The fact that it was an imperfect life in no way justifies any of what transpired. Now at least Chauvin will pay the Earthly price for what he did, likely spending decades in prison, probably in isolation, barring any appeals. He deserves to never take another breath as a free man.

But Chauvin is not every cop. He’s not most cops. Police can certainly go on power trips, treat people with disrespect and escalate situations into violence that need never have happened, but only a few are psychopaths like Chauvin. Most police killings of civilians occur rapidly, as split-second decisions are made, not over several minutes.

We were glad to see the verdict did not result in violent protests around the country, as one going the other way would have. There was violent unrest in Portland, Ore., but that’s just the way of life in that sad city now. Elsewhere, with adults in charge, people mostly kept a level head.

What’s next? A police reform bill in Congress named for Floyd would ban chokeholds; let people who sue police go after their assets; bar no-knock warrants in federal drug cases; and create a nationwide misconduct registry. Support is split along party lines, with Democrats for and Republicans against, but perhaps a compromise can be found between this bill and another, supported by black Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. The two sides are talking.

Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones talking. If Chauvin successfully appeals his case, it will likely be due to reckless public comments made by Rep. Maxine Waters that could be seen as affecting the jury, not to mention fomenting violence. Even the judge said her words could end up getting the case overturned. That would be a disaster. President Biden also spoke about the case, unwisely, but at least he did so after the jury had been sequestered.

There are many — too many — other killings by police that we have to contend with. Each is unique. Few are as clear-cut as Floyd’s death. Elected officials, other public figures and the media should not create false narratives around them but should let us see the cases and the people involved individually. Everyone should be treated fairly and equally in our society. Maybe we’re just a little closer to that now.

(2) comments

stan chaz

I find it interesting that you would like to deny Congresswoman Maxine Walters her right to free speech, but Republican supporters of Trump cheered when he used his much greater pulpit to excoriate judges and juries and court cases that he did not like - which culminated in his trying to overturn an election whose results he did not like. Maxine Waters comments about the need to be in the streets, to be more active, to be more confrontational if their was no conviction of Chauvin are fully justified, and she later clarified the meaning by insisting on non-violence and the need for legislation. Far too many Republicans are hypocrites, witness their denial of a vote on Obama Supreme Court choice 13 months before a presidential election by saying that he election was too close and voters needed to decide, while rushing through Trump’s choice mere weeks before ab election. They talk about “looting” when the centuries of suffering of black people boil over and when demonstrations are sometimes exploited by criminal fringes, while saying nothing about Trump mobs storming the very citadel of our Democracy while maiming dozens of police officers —not to mention the looting of millions of blacks who were brought here in chains, and looted of their lives, their roots, their families and their humanity by a nation which deemed them 3/5th of a human being so it could freely exploit their labor, and kept them in less visible chains until only a few decades ago. Don’t talk about “justice” in the conviction of Chauvin. True justice and genuine equality under the law in America is still a distant goal, and only for some of us. George Floyd’s murder, which happened to be captured on video (unlike so many others) is only the tip of the iceberg in this nation’s legacy of racism, and in it’s continued and engrained systematic racism. Racism not only in portions of police departments, but in so many other areas of society—as evidenced by the shameful attempts to bring back Jim Crow voter suppression in many Republican-led States.When America remembers ,when we remember and whe we mourn the murder of George Floyd, ask not for whom the mourning bells toll. They toll for thee America,--and for your abject failure for far too many American of color, to live up to the ideals you preach & proclaim. I am not critical of Maxine Waters urging blacks to be more confrontational and active. No, on the contrary, I am amazed that blacks have put up with this s**t for so long. Today they are going beyond entrties of “ How long Lord, how long?” Going beyond mere words and pleading for change. Yes, going beyond to confrontation and action, and rightly so.

Matt W

I don't think that it's a good idea to struggle with the police !

Follow Directions ! Better yet, don't do things that attracts their attention or irritates them !

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