Mere moments ago, the verdict in the case of the state against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd was announced. Guilty on all three counts.
It is a historical victory for the lives of Black people who have been fighting oppression for four hundred years. Today’s verdict was so important that my neighbor, a Black Chinese mixed woman called me on the phone, to remind me to tune in to CNN today, of all days.
On Twitter everyone I know is celebrating, people I don’t know are celebrating. Derek Chauvin is now on his way to his new life as prisoner, which will be vastly different than his life as cop. I do not feel sorry for him. I do not even feel empathy for him. I am too angry.
I am too angry that he, a trained, respected Police Officer deliberately chose to take a life in front of complete strangers, in front of children, fully expecting that his badge would protect him from facing Lady Justice.
Today Saint Mary Jane and Lady Justice turned their gaze away from Derek Chauvin, and now he is a prisoner of the state. Too fucking bad.
For the rest of the lives, the witnesses who watched the murder of George Floyd will have mild to extreme panic attacks when they are approached by a police officer because they will be reminded of the day they watched a police officer murder a Black male civilian.
For the rest of their lives they will have moments of joy and laugh and laughter, and moments when they are reminded of the trauma of that day. It will never leave them. It will never leave those of us in the home based audience who watched MSNBC, CNN, and FOX news so that we could see the video, even if we didn’t originally want to.
Those of us who live today, will always remember that it took an entire year for this particular case to come full circle, and in the scheme of things that’s not a very long time.
I am in complete shock because I remember when four officers were found innocent in the case against Rodney King. I remember watching as they showed the video on every single news show, talking about how four cops brutally and viciously beat a Black man in the streets, for the crime of existing.
I also remember watching Los Angeles burn that night, and many nights after. I was fully expecting to see the same thing today. I did not have faith that the jury would come back with a guilty verdict purely because I have now become comfortable with the fact that cops get to kill Black folk across North America, and get away with it.
On March 29th, 2021, Adam Toledo was shot by a police officer, he was thirteen years old. He is just one in a long list of Black boys or men that have been murdered by cops, or by cop behavior not including Breonna Taylor, and Sandra Bland and the others.
I am not surprised anymore when I hear that a cop has killed a Black or BIPOC person. I used to be, I used to be offended, I used to be angry, I used to be shocked, I used to be surprised. But I am not any of those things anymore, I am just heart broken.
I grew up believing that the police were the good guys. Every single year Saint James Elementary and Jr High School would bring in cops and soldiers because we lived by the army base. They would talk about all the good work they were doing, and convince us that they were important, and good. They told us they were the long arm of the law, and that it was their job to serve and protect their communities.
Now I look back to those days listening to all those cops talking about how important their jobs were, and I think, “you lied to us.”
I have learned that police officers don’t protect communities that they are supposed to serve, they deliberately go out of their way to destroy them. I have witnessed from the safety of my living room, hundreds of protests over the years where people went to be peaceful, to mourn, and the cops have deliberately started violence.
Then I have continued to watch as the cops turned around and blamed the very same people, that were victims of police brutality.
Today the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin told the world that the life of George Floyd mattered to them. Today they told him that Black Lives Matter.
Millions are celebrating, but many of Chavin’s friends are going to be enraged, and they are going to make that rage known by taking out their bad attitudes on the lives of Black and BIPOC people.
In Perth Amboy a group of police officers stopped a group of kids riding their bikes, arrested at least one of them, and took their bikes away, purely because they happened to be a medium to large size group of Black and Latino males.
I remember when kids would skateboard at the church, the cops never bugged my neighbor Billy when he did it, but now I wonder if that wasn’t because he was a white boy.
They never bothered me when I was with my white friends, until I got older, and whenever they caught my friends smoking weed, they almost immediately started trying to ask where I got the weed from. I didn’t even smoke back then, I didn’t think anything of it because my white friends stood up for me…at the time I didn’t even understand what that meant.
Across America there will be marches, and protests in the coming days as our fellow freedom fighters litterally risk their lives to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, and it won’t change a God damned thing.
Cops are going to continue to harrass, abuse, and murder Black and BIPOC people, and it’s not just America, it’s around the globe.
In Canada we have what’s called the Downtown East Side in Vancouver, where hundreds of Indigenous and BIPOC women have gone missing, hundreds of them. In some cases their bodies have never been found.
Cops will continue to prioritize the lives of white humans, while dehumanizing Black and BIPOC people. Yes today was a win, but my question is what is it going to cost us tomorrow? Happy 420….I guess.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall