Tuesday afternoon, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges in the killing of George Floyd. While people across the nation celebrated what may seem like a victory, some struggled to find joy in the verdict.
That word was trending on Twitter leading up to the moment when Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
At precisely 5:06 p.m., deep sighs of relief filled the nation as Chauvin was charged on all three counts. As people rejoiced and celebrated across the country, many like Jordyn Young, 21, of Clinton, Maryland, found it hard to find happiness in the result of the verdict.
“I was watching with my mom, holding each other and crying waiting for the verdict,” she said. “Once we heard the guilty verdict on all three charges, we were so happy. But yet, I can’t feel like this is a true victory. There are so many people that still need true justice and accountability so this small step can’t deter us from the goal of abolishing and defunding the police system and replacing it with something actually effective.”
Kannette King of Statesboro, Georgia was on edge while she watched the verdict announcement. Before the announcement, King, 20, instantly thought of Trayvon Martin’s murder case where George Zimmerman was acquitted on all of the charges filed against him. With that case in mind, King was unsure of what to expect with Chauvin’s case.
“As my classmates and I watched via zoom the verdict of Derek Chauvin transpire, we could only feel a sense of hopelessness and uneasiness as we remembered watching the Trayvon Martin case,” said King during a telephone interview.
“As tears of joy fell from our eyes, we were surprised that a crumb of justice had been served.”
For King’s Z-Generation, the slaying of Trayvon Martin was the first memorable case of justice not being served in the wrongful killing of an African American. After countless homicides such as Martin have been closed without justice, many people believe Chauvin’s conviction is a step in the right direction, but emphasized there is still a long way to go.
Aisha Flowers, 32, of Baltimore said the verdict left her with plentiful emotions, but her most important takeaway was the fight left for African Americans in today’s society.
“I am filled with tons of emotions due to the guilty verdict,” said Flowers. “The jurors understood the assignment at hand. Although this is a small win for us, there is much more work to be done. We can’t stop fighting; this is just the beginning.
“We have to keep going until the color of our skin is no longer a novelty and Black men and women aren’t deemed as a threat to society.”
The writer is a student in the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication