“It is a victory for those fighting for justice. “ George Floyd’s family welcomed the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial on Tuesday, April 20. Former policeman Convicted of murdering “Big Floyd”, while in custody in May 2020 in Minneapolis. The death of a photographer sparked mass demonstrations in the United States and elsewhere against racist police violence. The accused has already been expelled from the police A detainee is awaiting the verdict, which will be announced within eight weeks. The former police officer faces at least twelve and a half years in prison, but his sentence can be extended if the judge finds that there are aggravating circumstances.
Charlotte Riquilon, a researcher at the French Institute of Geopolitics, specializes in racial issues in the United States and is a journalist and author of the video podcast. “Stop killing us”And the Analysis of France’s information on the significance of this ruling.
France Info: A famous US jury declared that former white cop, Derek Chauvin, is guilty of killing George Floyd, an African-American who had been kneeling on his neck for long minutes. Is this decision historic?
Charlotte Ricochaelon: No doubt. It is extremely rare for a US police officer to be convicted of racist violence by the police. It’s rare to see the Foundation distance itself from the officer, including such serious charges as the ones burdening Derek Chauvin. Because members of his hierarchy testified during the trial, claiming that his actions were disproportionate and inconsistent with police values.
Did the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-racism protests of 2020 play a role in the outcome of this affair?
This ruling is an important victory for the Black Lives Matter movement. Were it not for the latter, the police account of George Floyd as a violent man who resists arrest, who otherwise cannot be defeated, would have triumphed. This same story is used as an excuse by the police in many cases of police violence. Without the investment of Black Lives Matter to publish George Floyd’s case, Derek Chauvin would almost certainly have been acquitted. He might not have even been charged.
Since 2013, this movement has built a significant political force. It puts the issue of racist police violence on the agenda of the media, and thus on the political agenda. This was reflected in Joe Biden’s speeches Tuesday evening. Summoning George Floyd’s family is a symbolic act of a Democratic president who wants to build his personal story and spare the progressive wing of his party. Even Joe Biden, who remains very moderate on police reform issues, is constrained by the political agenda of the Black Lives Matter.
If activists praise a victory against racist police violence, some fear it will overwhelm calls for police reform. Is this ruling a turning point for the US judicial and police institutions?
If this ruling is historic, there is still a step in the fight against racist police violence. That was necessary after the 2020 demonstrations, but not enough to sustainably advance the cause. When the Minneapolis police publicly condemn Derek Chauvin’s actions, it is less an indication of an awareness of the need to reform the institution than an attempt to protect it, by distancing itself from it as much as possible.
Activists are not wrong. They are very focused on their roadmap and will continue to demand fundamental reforms, such as abolishing the police or limiting them to reallocate funds to community support programs.
Impunity is one of the mechanisms that allow violence by the police, and as such, this provision is symbolic. But even if all the officers who commit acts of violence were now systematically condemned, it would not solve the underlying problem. Black Lives Matter’s desire is to dismantle the existing police system to prevent this violence from occurring.