Written by Devon Mitchell
The trial of the Minneapolis police officer who suffocated and killed an unarmed black man back in May 2020 came to a close on Tuesday. 45-year-old Derek Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin is the first white police officer to be held accountable for the murder of a black person.
All over the country, people were watching and hoping justice would be served, including lawmakers. After the verdict was released, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was quoted thanking George Floyd for “sacrificing your life for justice.” I don’t know about you, but I find this response incredibly inappropriate coming from one of the highest-ranked officials in the federal government.
To sacrifice something implies that an individual had some sort of choice over what they sacrificed. George Floyd had no say in what happened to his life the day Derek Chauvin killed him after a dispute over a 20 dollar bill. To say George Floyd “sacrificed” his life takes away from the injustice that occurred.
Instead of thanking Floyd for his sacrifice, Pelosi should be pushing legislation for police reform. The House may have passed the George Floyd Act, but nothing is changed until police reform is widely accepted by democrats and republicans. Nothing is changed until we adopt a better dialogue about the injustices black people have faced for hundreds of years. Claiming an individual “sacrificed” their life is far from beneficial to that dialogue.