Friends who know I was a public defender for decades ask me what I thought of the George Floyd accountability verdict. First, I call it a George Floyd verdict, because this is who I remember. A community of jurors basically said, "You did not deserve to die Mr. Floyd. The officer murdered you. Our guilty verdict is the only solace we can give you, your family, and this nation."
Mr. Floyd should be alive. His personal life not paraded out for all to see the foibles of a human being but yet it was. Once again, a police officer kills and the person put on trial is the person who died. It was his drug use; it was his heart; and let's not forget he was a big Black man. And did we hear much of the type of person the officer was? Just the simple defense, and a silly one at that, Mr. Floyd killed himself; the officer just did his job.
Sadness pervaded my yesterday, because I know this rare verdict is forgotten within minutes, nay seconds, by those it is meant to deter: the hateful officer who sees a community as a zoo and the role of the police officer to make sure the animals don't harm anyone and don't escape.
So it is up to us, those left safe and unharmed, to make sure this verdict is not forgotten and that prosecutors and police know that we will seek accountability every time a police officer kills another innocent. Stay strong! Mr. Floyd changed my life and that of others and his valiant last breathes give us a reason to fight to save other lives.
Please just focus on Mr. Floyd's face against the red wall behind his face. Look into his eyes and remember him.