I can’t even describe how I feel right now over the verdict….in some ways it feels 29 years in the making since the Rodney King verdict, but at the same time I’m sad that it took a death of a human being for change to finally happen. My gratitude to the prosecution and the jurors who helped to make a big step forward in standing up to systemic racism.
I’ve posted plenty on social media today….it’s hard not to, as I’m feeling a lot of emotions after the last year of such social unrest. I find myself thinking about what if it was the other way around….would I feel the same way if a minority cop did the EXACT same actions as Derek Chauvin, and a White person died? My answer is yes. The dynamics would be incredibly different, but nobody deserves to die as a victim of police brutality.
I moved to the Scranton area in the autumn of 1994….before changing my car tags from New York to Pennsylvania, it was a regular occurrence to be followed by the Scranton and South Abington Police – I was never pulled over, but they’d follow me for a couple of miles. For what? I had no tail lights out, and I was driving at or below the speed limit. And this would happen in the middle of the day. It’s one of those situations where no matter how much it pisses you off, you can’t do anything about it.
The video in the Derek Chauvin trial did not lie. I’m sure that the African-Americans who saw this happen (and shot video from the curb) felt the same type of frustration. Wanting to say something about such an incredibly wrong action, but fearing the repercussion for speaking out. In this case, a man was choked to death, and there was no question about that. Hopefully this is a strong statement towards the end of this type of police brutality. There are a lot of fantastic police officers throughout the country who risk their lives to serve and protect, and they do it the right way. They have (and will ALWAYS have) my utmost respect. There are good and bad cops, and there are good and bad people. Stevie and Paul said it best 39 years ago – “There’s good and bad in everyone. We learn to live, we learn to give each other what we need to survive, together alive.”
Rest In Peace, George Floyd. It’s time for us all to do better…..it’s time to start “living in perfect harmony.“