The United States justice system is not known for always serving justice in most cases of police killings. But this time, they have fulfilled their intended purpose. On Tuesday, former Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
For Black American communities, this was an emotional juridical landmark in history. For police officers, this was a structure-altering event. And for the rest of us, this was a lesson.
We like to think that humanity’s evolving. That we’re pushing the limits of academic exploration, innovating new technologies, and working toward equality. However, things only move if someone pushes them.
The death of George Floyd was one among countless scars on America’s soul. It highlighted the skeletons in America’s closet and the systemic racism with their present-day judicial system. The story of George Floyd’s death is nearly identical to all the other unjust killings of Black Americans at the hands of police.
For the alleged crime of using a fake $20 bill, Floyd was killed after a cop kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes.
While Floyd pleaded for his life saying “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times, police ignored him. By the time Floyd was unconscious, it was too late.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd bought a pack of cigarettes and was killed by police shortly after.
George Floyd’s life ended as a tragedy. But his story was not over yet.
The aspect that differentiated this incident from the many forgotten ones was the public’s reaction to it. The public picked up the pen and continued his story.
The death of George Floyd led to the rise of Black Lives Matter protests — which may be the largest movement in American history, according to the New York Times. Diverse communities united together for a common purpose. Protestors continue to create change and fight against anti-Black racism and police brutality in the United States.
People of all genders, ethnicities, nationalities and races, stood by the Black community in support of Black Lives Matter.
However, the fight is not over yet.
Despite this incident being a monumental milestone for the fight toward equality, we must remember that it is by no means over. For every battle won, there were countless lost ones.
We must continue fighting until justice is served for every life lost. We must continue pushing the limits of society and holding powerful figures accountable. We can’t become silent.
We must be a voice for the wronged spirits who were silenced. George Floyd will never get his life back, but we can fight to protect anyone else from becoming a victim, trapped in the net of systematic racism.