On May 25, 2020 George Floyd was murdered by former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. George Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill at a Cup Foods store. The events that followed Floyds alleged use of the counterfeit bill were outrageous and completely uncalled for. Derek Chauvin arrived on the scene and in an attempt to “restrain” Floyd, placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for approximately nine minutes.
Many witnessed this act of police brutality in person, and many more witnessed through video evidence that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Now, almost a full year later, Derek Chauvin has finally gone to trial for a murder that was broadcast all over social media. Chauvin is being charged with manslaughter, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder. Currently the trial is still on-going and the last five days have been crucial to convict Chauvin of murder. The first day of trial included opening statements from both sides and showed video evidence of the murder.
Tuesday included eyewitness testimony from witnesses of all ages. They all discussed their feelings of what they witnessed, guilt from what they witnessed and the fact they could not or did not do anything. Eyewitnesses ranged in ages and involved young children as well who have experienced traumas from witnessing the event. Many witnesses broke down on the stands, including a 61-year-old witness. The cashier at Cup Foods that day testified as well. He discussed feelings of disbelief and guilt for bringing the bill to his managers attention who then had the police called. Jurors also witness the body camera footage of the last moments of George Floyds life.
The fourth and fifth days of the trial included testimony from paramedics on scene, George Floyd’s girlfriend, a retired sergeant and the longest-serving officer at the Minneapolis Police Department. In fact, Lt. Richard Zimmerman’s testimony might have been a game changer for the trial. Zimmerman stated that Chauvin’s actions were uncalled for and condemned Chauvin for his behavior. The trial will continue this week before a decision will be made.
The decision however should already be made. There is no reason to find Derek Chauvin innocent in this violent crime. While typically eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, there is video proof of Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd. There should be no question in whether it was an accident or not. Police should not have the right to use excessive force especially when it’s not needed. When someone is pleading for help, begging not to be murdered, and crying, there is no reason to validate them continuing to use excessive force.
This was a heinous crime and Derek Chauvin should be charged with every count he can be charged for. Derek Chauvin deserves to be in prison for a long time for taking an innocent life, and the officers who stood by and watched this happen should be charged as accessories. Police officers who believe they have the authority to take a life whenever they want should not be allowed to be officers. Nor should officers who refuse to do anything when their partners are dirty cops. Officers kill innocent people all of the time, they need to face the consequences of their actions. They should be here to enforce the law, not to be above it.