Chauvin conviction brings hope for BLM

With Derek Chauvin found guilty of murdering George Floyd, there seems to be a new wave of hope for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Chad Davis

As thousands of people march the streets in memoriam of George Floyd, the anxious crowd awaits the conviction of Derek Chauvin. When George Floyd was killed, there were several months of civil unrest from people who demanded justice for Floyd. Photo provided by Flickr; taken by Chad Davis; attribution: ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Daniel deBoer, Feature Editor

On Tuesday, April 20, ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree murder. Putting to rest the nearly year-old George Floyd murder case, one of the most influential BLM events of this past year.

While this conviction is a step in the right direction, in the eyes of many people the trial took way too long, and the conviction should have come way sooner than it did. “I think that this is a step in the right direction for the justice system, in this case, like George Floyd, but I just think that it took way too long for him to be found guilty. Because it was clear and evident,” said Black Student Union member Kailyn Williams.

According to the CNN article “Derek Chauvin found guilty of all three charges for killing George Floyd” by Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper, Chauvin is expected to face up to 40  years in prison on his sentencing date June 16 based on the charges he was given. The prosecutors called 38 witnesses over the course of the trial ranging from bystanders at the scene to use-of-force experts. Medical professionals went on record to state that Floyd died from lack of oxygen compared to the defense’s claim that Floyd died of other causes.

“I think that the trial itself is reflective of the American justice system in which trials take time right, and you know it was just under a year after George Floyd was killed, and that’s reflective of a pretty standard American trial,” said Black Student Union sponsor Joey Phillip.

When it comes to deciding what kind of action needs to be taken in such a difficult time, “There’s a lot of steps that need to be taken. But I think I really feel like the biggest change is going to come from people on the inside,” said Williams.

While we continue to push for equality within America, the most important part, however, as pointed out by EL and Equity Department Chairperson Gabrielle Devlin is that “We listen to the people around us and believe them when they say something is happening. Do not dismiss someone who says they’re experiencing micro-aggressions. If someone tells you they’re experiencing marginalization, you have to believe them and you have to honor that because the psychic impact of being told ‘that’s not really happening’ is too hurtful.”

For students looking to become more involved in the movement, please feel free to contact Phillips, the Black Student Union sponsor to look into joining the club. The fight for justice is not a trend and should never be stopped fighting for. Always strive to improve and always fight for what is right.