Issue: The verdict is only the beginning of a powerful movement


“George Floyd mattered… he mattered because he was human.” –Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison

Editorial Board

The world was watching yesterday as the jury delivered the verdict of Derek Chauvin, the police officer that killed George Floyd in May of 2020. Chauvin was found guilty on all accounts for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

While this news is a brief reprieve from the year of protests, pain and worry amongst the Black community, there is still work to be done.

Americans have already made their outrage clear, taking to the streets and protesting Floyd’s death over the last summer. South Dakotans joined them, with protests occurring in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre, Mitchell and right here in Brookings. We wanted justice, and yesterday some justice was served.

Floyd should still be alive today, and at the end of the day, this verdict does not bring him back to life.

However, it is a testament to the year’s work on anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement that went into making Floyd’s death a nationwide issue.

This is accountability, but it is only the start.

Chauvin is only the second police officer in Minnesota history that has been convicted of murdering a civilian while on active duty.

Police brutality still runs rampant through the streets in America. Only 10 days ago, Daunte Wright, another Black man from Minnesota, was killed by a female officer who mistook her gun for a taser.

There are too many officers who have killed Black people in this country. Accountability needs to be taken for each and every one of them, starting with J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, the officers assisting Chauvin in Floyd’s death.

Racism in our law enforcement is not the only place we need to look to for change; our universities must be held accountable when incidents like the racist message found on campus this past January occur.

It’s important that we hold everyone —our police officers, government and even university and school officials—accountable, and though this trial will hopefully begin to change things for the better, our fight isn’t over yet.

In the end, we can’t bring George Floyd back to life. We can only honor his legacy and stand behind the Black community as the fight for justice continues.

The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.