Will the Chauvin verdict influence future cases?

By AMANDA GIAMPAGLIA
On April 28, 2021

Photo courtesy of Clay Banks, Unsplash

On April 24, former police officer Derek Chauvin was rightfully found guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd. His convictions were second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. This news means so much to not only George Floyd’s family but people of color all over the country.

For way too long police officers have gotten away with murdering people of color. Unfortunately, the number of police officers that are charged versus the ones who get away is astounding. 

I can only hope that after this trial, more police officers will be held accountable for their actions, like Chauvin. Too many people have not received justice for their wrongful murders. I think that something people often forget is that police officers are not supposed to kill a suspect; the laws of our land state that you are innocent until proven guilty. 

I think people are so fast to defend a police officer over shooting a human being and murdering them. They forget that the person who died may have been innocent, and even if they were not, they did not deserve to die.

There are too many cases of using excessive force on a person or mistaking a gun for a taser. Shooting an unarmed woman sleeping in her home; a man having a “mental health” episode; a woman sitting peacefully in her apartment; a man holding a cell phone in his grandmother’s backyard; a man eating some ice cream on his couch; a child playing with a toy gun and many more

So many police officers are allowed to kill people -- many of whom were not even doing anything wrong. The amount of officers that murdered people in their own homes for no reason is despicable. 

There must be sweeping changes, and they must happen now. Our country suffers heartbreak every day when we see another person wrongfully murdered by the people who took an oath to protect and serve, the same people who are trained to not kill their suspect unless extremely necessary. 

The system needs to be fixed, there is no other option. Chauvin’s fair trial and rightful conviction should be a switch that our country has long awaited. Hopefully, this shows police officers that they are not above the law and they will be held accountable for their actions. 

People deserve justice, and justice can only be achieved through fair trials in a courtroom full of lawyers, judges and jurors. This is where the fate of people can be decided, not during an arrest by a police officer. 

No more people need to be killed. Change should have happened long ago, but unfortunately, there is no changing the past. We can only learn from it and improve our ways.

 

agiampag@ramapo.edu

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