The battle continues


The battle continues

Derek Chauvin

With its verdict of guilty in the case of  former police officer Derek Chauvin who killed George Floyd last May, a Minneapolis jury affirmed on Tuesday that Black lives matter.

The verdict also gives many skeptics in our Caribbean community reason to hope that justice for Blacks in the United  States is indeed still possible.

Many who had been closely following the court proceedings via television said  they were convinced that the evidence against Chauvin was very strong but  had serious doubts that he would be convicted.

Derek Chauvin whose knee to the neck of  Floyd ended in the Black man’s death, was found guilty of all three charges against him: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

As Prime Minister Trudeau stated, the verdict is good news.

George Floyd

Floyd’s death had sparked protest not just in the United States but in countries around the world, including Canada, where the treatment of racialized Canadians was brought into sharp focus.

And as Trudeau reminds us, the trial underlines how much work remains to be done to combat systemic racism.

In the United States, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris also weighed in on the verdict.

At a press conference, Biden, said the verdict is a “step forward,” but like Trudeau, he noted that there is still work to  be done to address the problem of racism.

And Harris, the first Black woman to serve as vice president of the United States,  said racism was keeping the country from fulfilling its founding promise of “liberty and justice for all.”

“It is not just a Black America problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is holding our nation back from reaching our full potential,” she declared.

It comes as no surprise that in Canada where Blacks and other minorities continue to battle the problems of racism, the verdict in the Derek  Chauvin matter has become a major talking point and we are pleased to note that among the individuals and groups who are speaking out on the issue is the Toronto Police Service.

” As a Service, 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, ” it said on the day of the verdict.

It went on to say that “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.” .

Clearly, the guilty verdict is having a major impact in some quarters in Canada.

But  let’s not forget: there is  a lot of work to be done to combat the evils of racism.

The battle continues.