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The stinging difference between justice and accountability


AAfter 10 hours of deliberation, 12 jurors found Derek Chauvin – former police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes—guilty about inadvertent second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree murder. The verdict is especially, one extremely rare incident. And almost immediately upon reading, it highlighted the key differences between accountability and justice.

After Chauvin’s conviction, President Barack Obama released a statement on Tuesday night to make this point. “Today, a jury did the right thing. But real justice requires more than that, ”he wrote. “Michelle and I send prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand side by side with all the people who are committed to ensuring all American justice for which George and so many others have been denied.”

In the attached statement, Obama noted that “true justice is not just a verdict in a single trial.”

“Although today’s decision may be a necessary step in progress, it is not yet a sufficient one,” he wrote. “We cannot rest. We will need to follow specific reforms to minimize and ultimately eliminate racial prejudice in our criminal justice system. “

Sen. Bernie Sanders further explained the difference between justice and accountability in a series of tweets. “A jury ruling gives accountability to Derek Chauvin, but not justice to George Floyd,” he wrote. “Real justice for him and so many others can only happen when we build a nation that fundamentally respects the human dignity of each person.”

Vice President Kamala Harris said the verdict could not erase the pain caused by the murder of George Floyd and many others like him. “[T]his judgment will not be able to heal the pain that has existed for generations, ” Harris writes. “It will not take away the pain of the Floyd family. That is why we must submit to fight for equal justice ”.

In the following tweetHarris urged the Senate to pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act “To organize everywhere law enforcement according to the highest standards of accountability and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities.” The House of Representatives passed the act on March 3 with a 220-212 vote, but it failed to gain dominance in the Senate, where 60 votes were needed to proceed. The act would have the effect of ending racism and religion, banning anonymous hiding and restraining orders, and making it easier to prosecute offending officers in court. among other reforms.

Chauvin’s verdict is like a reminder of how many other families didn’t get any resolution when their loved one was killed by the police, and how many wouldn’t if the job wasn’t. continue, says author Austin Channing Brown.

“Right now I have mixed feelings. I hope Floyd’s family will definitely feel relieved. I also know very well how many black families did not receive this ruling, ”Brown wrote. “I was a little overwhelmed with all it took to get this conviction – tape, witnesses unanimously determined not to be knocked down by excuses, global protests, 10 years leading up to this time. I’m still afraid – I’m still afraid of the police, will still teach my son what to do in the confrontation with the police, still afraid of my husband, my father, I could be the next one myself. “

Just before the jury ruled in Minneapolis, officers in Columbus, Ohio, Ma’khia Bryant shot and killedA 16 year old girl called 911 for help. Her aunt told reporters she had a knife to protect herself from invaders. Bryant was accused of throwing a knife at two women before the police opened fire, stabbing her in the chest.

“I’m really sad that the media are laying grounds for refuting Ma’khia’s death,” Brown wrote in a follow-up post. “If the police can arrest mass shooters with assault rifles, they can arrest a 16 year old girl with a knife.”

Rep. Cori Bush reminds us that the Black Lives Matter movement is not about judgments, but about life. “Our hope is that this ruling will be a small step towards accountability. But it’s only about accountability, not justice, ” Bush wrote in a tweet. “For us, justice will be that George Floyd is alive today.”



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