George Floyd trial: Chauvin found guilty

In the George Floyd case, a Minneapolis court jury has found ex-police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts he was facing: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Commentators hail the verdict as a historic and promising start in the fight against racist police violence.

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Financial Times (GB) /

The noble potential of law enforcement

George Floyd's death has got things moving on many fronts, the Financial Times surmises:

“The Black Lives Matter protests, or at least former president Donald Trump's botched response to them, helped to turn the 2020 election. It certainly nudged once-shy corporations into a new social activism, and not just within the US. And this was all before the conviction of Chauvin, which should leave at least a dent in the culture of police impunity. It was the result of a fair, brisk and peaceful trial, conducted in the world's exacting glare. A story that began with the very worst of law enforcement has come to exhibit its nobler potential.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Waiting for the next explosion

Hospodářské noviny sees the omnipresence of weapons in the US as the real problem:

“Police officers have to always be on the alert for shots being fired. This leads to tough police methods, and thus to many tragic mistakes. And when the victims are black, the catalyst of racism is added to the already explosive mix. ... There are calls for financial and personnel cuts in the police force, but at the same time gun sales reached record numbers in the second half of last year. Democrats in Congress are pushing for a police reform that would significantly reduce legal protection for officers, but Republicans won't hear of it.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Now real change is possible

The guilty verdict was reached also because the police experts spoke out clearly, which sends a hopeful signal, Dagens Nyheter writes:

“The blue wall of silence seems to be broken. There is much to suggest that the trial of Derek Chauvin will have a deterrent effect. It may also inspire prosecutors to bring forward other cases involving police discrimination and brutality. But the question is what will happen in the long run - whether the police in the US will be more willing to address the widespread problems of racism and police brutality, or whether they'll choose to see Chauvin as a single rotten egg.”

The Independent (GB) /

The nightmare isn't over

The fight against police brutality must continue, argues US journalist and author Michael Arceneaux in The Independent:

“George Floyd received justice, but will Daunte Wright? Will Breonna Taylor ever get justice? Will any of the others? If you are against police brutality and systemic racism in law enforcement, you will have to stay on the streets. You will have to keep applying pressure to politicians and powerful entities like police unions. You will have to get confrontational. You have to do all of this because Black people are still being killed by police officers nationwide. ... I and so many other Black people won't have any less fear of being pulled over by a police officer tomorrow. That's the kind of nightmare that no single verdict can change.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

A trial no one will forget

The case will go down in history, prophesies US correspondent Massimo Gaggi in Corriere della Sera:

“The video camera recordings and social networks turned the tragic scene into an unprecedented case for the entire world and produced a surreal trial. Unprecedented because of the images taken from all angles and at different times, before and after George Floyd's arrest, which allowed each of us to become a judge. ... Surreal because the images of an officer holding his knee on the neck of a handcuffed man lying on the asphalt for over nine minutes, even after he had lost consciousness, before a helpless audience of bystanders who only plead for mercy, will forever be seared into the memory and conscience of America.”