Derek Chauvin’s name is now synonymous with the word “guilty.” It’s a victory, albeit a small win, for America in terms of moving at least a little farther away from systemic racism and a baby step toward justice.
For those who are seemingly taking Chauvin’s side by saying people are making George Floyd out to be a martyr, that stance is off-base. We aren’t calling Floyd a hero, either, but he simply did not deserve to die.
Chauvin pinned the Black man to the pavement with his knee on Floyd’s neck for an appalling 9 minutes and 29 seconds. There is absolutely justification behind that action. NONE.
The 45-year-old former police officer faces sentencing in two months. The most severe charge he could receive carries 40 years in prison. We believe he should receive that maximum penalty, which would put him at 85 at the time of his exit from prison, if he lives that long.
Members of Floyd’s family reacted by saying they can breathe again following Chauvin being found guilty for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. It was a better day for them after nearly a full year’s worth of horrible days.
Still, President Joe Biden said “it’s not enough” to stop systemic racism. We agree.
We also know all police officers aren’t evil. Just like with many other public-service professions, most are good-hearted, caring and upstanding people who want the best for their community and want the best for even the worst of criminals. Chauvin is no longer a police officer, so no one should assess Minneapolis’ or any other police departments’ reputation based on his despicable actions.
There are unfortunately perhaps more Derek Chauvins out there, though, and those bad apples need sorted out.
Biden said it correctly: “We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again.”