After months of waiting, justice was finally served for George Floyd. On May 25, 2020 media outlets posted a video recorded by a bystander of former policeman Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. In this video recorded by Darnella Frazier, witnesses are heard pleading for Floyd’s life, the video of Floyd being murdered circled around social media leading to unrest. The summer of 2020 was filled with both peaceful protests and riots after the murder of Floyd. Central students protested for him and many more unjust killings. He is the stepping stone of black people getting their due justice. The black community felt that too many incidents were overlooked by the justice system, and murders were let off. The black community did not expect Derek Chauvin, Floyd’s murderer, to be convicted.
The trial was anticipated and viewed by millions. Very early on Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took over the case and assembled a prosecuting team who hammered on expert witnesses and police testimony. The paramedics on site, Seth Bravinder and Derek Smith, testified that when they arrived on scene Floyd had already died, and the maneuver used on him was to blame. The prosecution team included Jerry Blackwell, Lola Velázquez-Aguilu, Steve Schleicher, Neal Katyala, and Ellison. The prosecution debunked all untrue rumors about the case, like the claim that the drugs in Floyd’s system were what killed him, not Chauvin or Floyd’s heart condition. This was done with the help of Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist. He testified about breathing mechanisms that control the breathing in the body. Tobin testified that Floyd could not breathe because of the weight of Chauvin and the restriction he used.
The defense team only included Eric Nelson, Derek Chauvin’s attorney. He argued that the drugs in Floyd’s system and his health issues killed him. Nelson used a witness to testify to his high blood pressure and Floyd not taking his medicine. Nelson also used David Fowler, a chief medical examiner who stated that Floyd’s drug use, plus carbon dioxide in the cop car was to blame for Floyd’s death. Fowler later recanted saying he never reviewed the carbon dioxide levels in the car or Floyd’s body.
I am glad at the results of the case, however I disagree on how we got the conviction. Floyd’s death was protested which led to many riots. I cannot be sure if Floyd got justice because he deserved it or because of the potential outcome if he hadn’t. Did he get justice because the state was worried about rioting or because wrongdoing was to blame? There are many more people we have to fight for, so they can get justice like Floyd did. We should not continue fighting the Malcolm X way, using violence to stop violence, this path has only led to one conviction. No laws have been put in place to stop more deaths.
We should return to the peaceful way, so we can get laws put in place and no one else would suffer like the Floyd family has.