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Campaigners urge caution after George Floyd murder verdict

Amina Taylor
Press TV, London

The death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in 2020 sparked international condemnation, the trial and subsequent guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin became a global event. Could this be the beginning of genuine police reforms? Across the Atlantic, British campaigners are urging caution.

It was the verdict heard around the world. After three weeks of testimony and nearly 11 hours of deliberation by the jury, the family of George Floyd and a global audience would learn the fate of the former police officer who knelt on the neck of the 46-year-old for a life-ending nine minutes and 29 seconds.

The verdict means when the former Minneapolis police officer is sentenced in eight weeks’ time, he could be facing up to 40 years behind bars. The Floyd family reaction gave us glimpse of the collective breath that everyone it seems had been holding.

The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 became an international rallying cry and galvanized the BLM movement. Europe was no different and for campaigners who took to the streets then, the guilty verdict has global ramifications.

A single guilty verdict against an individual police officer won’t change the systemic problems that persists when it comes to the over policing of black and brown people in the US and closer to home but after historically not expecting any form of accountability, could this be a catalyst for change?

Even as Derek Chauvin awaits his sentence, there are British families who are fighting for answers about why their loved ones died after police contact. This year alone Mohamud Hassan and Moyied Bashir joined the tragic list.

For all the jubilation about the verdict, a man had to die a very public, painful death. A movement took hold but veteran campaigners and organizers remind those opposed to injustice to push forward because nothing changes until the system truly changed.

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