With the release of former police officer Derek Chauvin’s verdict as guilty on all counts, many Americans collectively exhaled a breath they did not even know they were holding—this was the first time in Minnesota history that a white police officer was found guilty in the death of a Black person. After officer acquittals in both Jamar Clark’s and Philando Castile’s cases, hope for a guilty verdict felt naive. Yet, thankfully, the jury saw what the rest of the world saw in George Floyd’s case: blatant murder.
However, it should be noted that a guilty verdict is simply accountability—the consequence—for one police officer’s bad behavior. Now with this first step accomplished we can look ahead at what true justice for Floyd and others will actually look like.