In the aftermath of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin being convicted of murder and manslaughter for the death of George Floyd, Stephen Colbert opened Tuesday’s Late Show with reflection on the verdict.
“Just before the taping of our show today the verdict was announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin. He was found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd. After 10 hours of deliberation, a jury in Minneapolis decided that it’s illegal for the police to murder people, that Black Lives Matter,” Colbert said. “It’s hard to celebrate because a man is still dead, but there is a sense of relief that at least this one injustice was not compounded with indifference. It could have easily gone the other way. No matter what you saw on that tape, this nation does not have a great track record on this subject. But at least in this case, this man faces accountability.”
“Justice is a far more difficult goal,” the late night host continued. “America still has a problem of over policing and systemic racism, but hopefully this is a step toward a future where police being held accountable for their actions isn’t headline material and a hope that accountability is a deterrent for tomorrow. Today is one stop on a journey that began last May and led to protests calling for that accountability in every town and every city in America. But this is just one stop. There is more work to be done. And it’s work that all of us should be committed to because as Ben Crump, the Floyd family lawyer, reminded us today, justice for Black America is justice for all America.”
Chauvin was convicted for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. The case sparked worldwide protests in the name of Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement and pushed America to reexamine issues of racism and police violence.
The jury of six white people and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. Chauvin, 45, was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He faces potentially decades in prison.
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