Written By: Gianna Adonteng
On Tuesday April 19, 2020, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all accounts for the murder of George Floyd, which could lead to the former police officer possibly spending the rest of his life in a prison. For many, this is a breath of fresh air, because although there are hundreds of other victims who haven’t gotten justice, this feels like we are one step closer to change for the better.
It sets a precedent that police officers and people in authority will not be able to abuse the power that they have been given, and hopefully that will result in less tragedies, but unfortunately not long before the verdict was given, a 16 year old girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was shot and killed by an officer in Columbus, Ohio.
For me and many other people, her death was hit hard.
We have always known that police brutality against people of color has always been common and something we should be wary and careful about. But to see that there’s no age limit, that even if you’re just a kid who spends most of their days doing schoolwork and hanging out with your friends you can still be seen as a criminal and a target to the police is really scary.
So even if we have gotten justice for one person, we need to keep fighting- for the people we have lost and for the innocent people living their lives across the world today.
One person received justice, but the fight is not over. It’s not even close to being over.
Duante Wright, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Janisha Fonville, Akai Gurley, and Gabriella Nevarez.
And the worst thing is that that is not even a quarter or even half of the names of people who have died at the hands of police, simply because of their skin color. The people who destroyed these families and took innocent people’s lives away weren’t given proper consequences. The officers responsible got put on administrative leave or on suspensions, which does not even come close to the consequences they should have received.
Because the mindset “Act now, think later” is deadly. So to have people in authority using this as the basis of thinking is frightening because they should be patient, assess the situation, and apply a solution that works best for everyone involved. It never should end up with people, specifically Black people, walking away in body bags as their family members mourn their death.
So until we can ensure that these encounters with police will end safely, we need to keep fighting.
With the nationwide attention this got, there’s been developments to help stop systematic racism and wrongful behavior of police. A bill called the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is working to be passed, and it will end the use of techniques that are deadly, it would ban no-knock warrants, and it would end qualified immunity which protects officers from lawsuits.
But at a smaller level, it’s also important to spread awareness in your communities. Even though you might feel you’re not making a difference, you are. So keep signing the petitions, keep protesting, keep donating, and continue speaking out.
It doesn’t end here, and they need to see that we haven’t forgotten, and that we will keep speaking out against injustices because we want change.