George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism -Trudeau

Justin Trudeau

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is welcoming the guilty verdict against the former Minneapolis police officer whose knee to the neck of George Floyd ended in the Black man’s death last May.

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The jury of six whites and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days

Trudeau says the verdict is good news.

But he says the trial underlines how much work remains to be done to combat systemic racism.

Derek Chauvin

Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground, with his knee to his neck, for more than nine minutes, as the 46-year-old struggled to breathe and called out for his mother.

Floyd’s death sparked protests around the globe, including in Canada, where the treatment of racialized Canadians was brought into sharp focus.

“It is good news that we saw the verdict come through where people hoped it would,” Trudeau told Edmonton-based online talk show host Ryan Jespersen in an interview shortly after Chauvin was found guilty.

“But it still underlines that there’s an awful lot of work to do,” he added.

George Floyd

“What we saw over the course of last year with the sudden awareness by everyone of what racialized Canadians and racialized people around the world had known for far too long that systemic discrimination continues.

“The micro-aggressions, the overt racism, the challenges within our institutions and within our daily lives that exist need to be addressed.”

Trudeau said he believes anger over Floyd’s death created “huge momentum” to transform societies so that they are “fairer and more inclusive for everyone.”

“I think this was a real wake-up call for a lot of people a year ago.”

 Noting the verdict of  guilty against Derek Chauvin, The Toronto Police Service said “we have been listening, learning, and changing over the past year and it is our desire to be more responsive to the communities we serve, including our Black residents.

“This is a journey we will continue to take, in partnership with our Black communities as we stand with them on this day and in the future.”

Osborne G. Barnwell

Commenting on the ” verdict of guilty,” Toronto lawyer  Osborne Barnwell told the Caribbean Camera that ” it  is a  bitter-sweet  victory.  I  am  jubilant, sorrowful,  and  hopeful  that  indeed  Bother  Floyd’s  life  has been  affirmed/confirmed   to have  value. ”

Barnwell then went on to discuss the problem of racism in Canada.

“We  continue  to  suffer   here  in Canada…. Things  have  to  change.They   must . The  legacy  of  George  Floyd  must be  advanced  and  must always  be remembered.  No longer should we be afraid  to  call  out  the  racist.   We  cannot afford  to  waste  this legacy, ” he said.