Justice for Floyd requires objectivity for Chauvin

The death of George Floyd last May under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer sparked an eruption of anger and frustration from the Black community that continues to this day. The crowds that have demonstrated and protested and sometimes rioted across the nation want one thing — justice for George Floyd.

Now the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer who was taped kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, and its time for rage and anger to be put on hold. Chauvin deserves a trial in which the facts are presented, where they can be considered calmly and objectively, and where a just verdict based on those facts will be rendered.

Out on the streets, people will be marching, chanting and demanding a guilty verdict. Their minds are made up. It is not Derek Chauvin on trial for them, but the whole system of justice and whether it will work for people of color and the poor as well as those who are wealthy and white. Nothing less than a guilty verdict will satisfy their definition of justice. Inside the courtroom, however, jurors who are being selected this week will be expected to hear the evidence with an open mind and not be swayed by what is going on outside.

If jurors can do that, their verdict will be just. Even if it goes against the expectations of those outside, it should be respected.


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