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Derek Chauvin Verdict Means Accountability, Not Justice

Demonstrators carry signs demanding justice for George Floyd.
The rare conviction of a police officer may offer relief to George Floyd's family and community, but the system that permitted his murder still stands.
Demonstrators carry signs demanding justice for George Floyd.
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April 22, 2021

Last year, the world watched Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd in plain sight after arresting him for an alleged counterfeit bill at a convenience store. The footage released from the encounter sparked an international movement as protesters took to the streets for months, calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

On Tuesday, after weeks of arguments, the jury released a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial: guilty on all three counts. For many, the verdict felt both inevitable and impossible: In spite of Chauvin’s egregious act being caught on camera, convictions against police officers who commit blatant acts of violence are a rarity thanks to the laws and systems that protect them and allow them to act with impunity.

On our podcast this week, we hear reactions on the ground in Minneapolis following the verdict’s announcement, and check in with the ACLU’s Policing Policy Advisor, Paige Fernandez. As one demonstrator, Osman, told us, the sense of victory was tempered by the knowledge that much work remains ahead:

“The man murdered another man in front of the world. There’s a lot more that needs to be done. There’s too many George Floyds that were not caught on camera…We’re not asking for change, we are demanding change.”

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