Actually, I had lost track of the story, largely because as much as I hoped that surely this time justice would prevail, I certainly wasn’t prepared to put money on it.
I expected to see the usual travesty; a mockery of justice followed by the inevitable “not-guilty.”
So, while the world waited with baited-breath for the verdict, and potentially destructive aftermath, I was oblivious in a remote location with no wi-fi or mobile coverage.
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If I am honest, I will admit that I have never watched the video of the last moments of George Floyd’s life.
The expression of pain and desperation on this man’s face as he cries out “I can’t breathe,” more than 20 times is unbearable; almost as unbearable as the nonchalant expression on Derek Chauvin’s face as he sits astride Floyd, with his hands in his pocket, squeezing the last living breath from another human’s body with his knee.
The casual callousness of Floyd’s death lit a spark that reverberated across the globe.
The fact that my cousin felt passionate enough to post a comment about the verdict is in itself a testament to the power of the Black Lives Matters movement, as well as an indictment of the American judicial system, (my cousin is a kind, beautiful hearted white woman in her 50s who rarely - okay, never - uses her Facebook feed for political commentary.)
And yet despite the clarity of my cousin’s words I was still sceptical about their meaning.
I couldn’t quite believe that Chauvin had been convicted – I mean yes there was the damning video evidence, but history had left me with little cause for optimism.
Even now a nagging voice in my head reminds me there’s always the possibility of an appeal and we’ve yet to see what happens at sentencing.
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A 2019 study estimated that in the US 1 in every 1000 Black men can expect to be killed by the police.
And whilst Black communities are not unique in experiencing deaths at the hands of on-duty police officers, the fact is that a Black man is 2.5 times more likely than his white counterpart to be killed by the police.
A 2017 study found that Black people fatally shot by police were twice as likely as their white counterparts to be unarmed.