There have been far too many videos of Black men being killed by police. We have all seen the brutality and senselessness that has taken place in all parts of the country. But no other video gripped the nation or moved it as did the nine minutes and twenty-seven seconds when a police officer willfully killed George Floyd. What has resulted from that killing is transformative. Society is more aware of the needed changes that must come in law enforcement, and more are engaged and active in understanding systemic racism. Meanwhile, the Black community rightfully states this moment is long, long overdue.
Late this afternoon a Minnesota jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges. He was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the May 2020 killing of Floyd. It took the jurors roughly 10 hours to deliberate the outcome. Sentencing will take place in eight weeks and Chauvin will be held without bail until that time.
So how do we process the jury outcome and find a ‘national voice’ as the courthouse lights dim in Minneapolis this evening? I would argue that the moment is so large and the meaning so deep and emotional for so many that trying to place words to the moment is fruitless.
Instead, let us look at the first editorial cartoons that are being posted around the nation. These images, as proven to be the case so often in other national moments of high emotion, convey the mood of the people far better than a 2,500-word essay. There will be time for the analysis and the written introspection.
For now, however, feel the power of the moment with these editorial cartoons.