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About bloody time

April 21, 2021

It was the noise. If you watched any of the coverage of the jury’s verdict being delivered yesterday at the trial of the ass wipe who killed George Floyd last May, you couldn’t help hearing the noise of the crowd gathering outside the Minneapolis courthouse. They were cheering. Later news broadcast showed footage outside the courthouse and in Washington and many other places of crowds gathered, ears bent to phones or radios, erupting with euphoria as the word was repeated three times: “Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.”

It should have been a no brainer.

Unfortunately, this is the United States. All it would have taken was one juror holding out, but no one did. There were no messages from the deliberation room requesting clarification from the judge on any point of law. They’d watched the video of Floyd’s murder. They’d listened to the evidence – including the damning testimony by his superior and fellow officers which was such a heart-warming break from similar trials past. And they reached the only conclusion they could: that this piece of shit policeman was guilty as fuck.

I can only begin to imagine what this verdict means to the millions of Black Americans who were celebrating. Unless the Louisville prosecutors’ office does a complete about face (highly unlikely), there will be no justice for Breona Taylor, just as there has been no justice for the many previous Black lives snuffed out by police officers.   

Perhaps there will now be justice for Daunte Wright, killed ten miles away from the courthouse where the trial of George Floyd’s murderer was taking place by a police veteran who apparently couldn’t tell the difference between a taser and a gun. Or 13-year-old Adam Toledo, shot and killed by police in Chicago while the trial was underway. Or 15-year-old Makiyah Bryant, who was killed yesterday (the day of the verdict) by the police officers she’d called for help because she was about to be attacked by a group of older women.

Is it possible? Will the blue wall crack elsewhere, as it did in Minneapolis? Will good apples begin to call out (and testify against) bad apples? Or was Trevor Noah right last week when he suggested the whole damn tree is rotten?

Hard not to think back 30 years to that other footage, shot long before everyone had a video camera in their phone, of four police officers savagely beating Rodney King. A trial moved from Los Angeles to suburban Simi Valley. The all-white jury who acquitted the guilty as fuck officers involved. Los Angeles erupted, not surprisingly, with fury at this appallingly rigged system.

Last year, after meeting George Floyd’s family, Joe Biden reported Floyd’s young daughter Gianna telling him her “daddy changed the world”. Apparently he called the family after yesterday’s verdict and told her that her daddy had indeed changed the world.

Changed the world? Not yet, as Makiyah Bryant’s death yesterday proves. But it’s a start. About bloody time.

From → Columns

One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    It feels like Cohen’s ‘crack’ that lets the light get in. I hope momentum builds and lasts and we finally do see change.

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