By Chukwudi Eke
Publisher, Word Bank International magazine
The vicious murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin obviously brought the earthly sojourn of that African-American in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to an early end. But that brutal death marked the beginning of Floyd’s posthumous life that would remain till God raptures the earth. Police officer Derek Chauvin’s tortuous murder of Floyd that we all saw in the video posted on social media by the heroic 17-year-old Darnella Frazier sparked a wave of global protests that had never been seen on the world landscape in the past several decades.
From Minnesota to Maryland in the US to London and Dublin in the UK, from Berlin in Germany to Brussels in Belgium, from Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria to Sydney in Australia, and from Accra in Ghana to Amsterdam in Netherlands among others were different multi-racial protests against hate, crime against humanity, and police brutality particularly the vicious murder of Floyd. For instance, in spite of the lock-down which barred large gatherings in London, protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest the brutal murder of Floyd by Chauvin.
In his twitter page, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, succinctly remarked that, “The death of George Floyd has rightly ignited fury and anguish not just in the USA but around the world. No country, city, police force or institution can be complacent about racism and the impact this has.” The tortuous murder of Floyd’s perhaps would have gone unnoticed by the world, if not for ordination of God and the gut instinct of the 17-year-old African-American girl, Darnella Frazier, who on the 25th fateful day of May 2020 filmed and posted the video of the deadly brutality unleashed on Floyd by Chauvin. The video immediately went viral sparking global outrage against police brutality and fury against racism around our global community.
The “fury and anguish” over the tortuous murder of Floyd was not only felt in the US and the UK, but also in Auckland, New Zealand, Berlin in Germany, and Paris in France among others. The global protests ignited with Floyd’s murder in part helped to momentarily change the narratives of racism and police brutality in the US. After months of protests demanding racial justice and accountability in the institution of police, especially justice for Floyd and the family with the community he left behind, George Floyd’s tortuous murder helped to set the tone and path for the hearing of the murder case against sacked police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ten months after Floyd’s death, the trial of former police officer Chauvin began in March 2021. Many people testified. Even the Minneapolis police Chief, Medaria Arrandondo, testified that the sacked officer Chauvin applied excessive force and violated several policies of the Minneapolis police department that he had been trained to respect and observe.
After weeks of deliberations and hearing of arguments and counter-arguments from the prosecutors and defense counsels, including testimonies from inside and outside of the police department and medical personnel among other professionals and witnesses, on Tuesday the 21st day of April 2021, the Jury for the murder trial of the dismissed 19-year-veteran of Minneapolis Police department, Derek Chauvin, found him guilty of the three counts against him as following: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Reactions of Frontline Leaders to the Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial for the Death of George Floyd
President Biden in a press release by the White House, asserted that Floyd’s’ tortuous murder by Chauvin “was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the Vice President just referred to — the systemic racism that is a stain on our nation’s soul; the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans; the profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that Black and brown Americans experience every single day.” In fact systemic racism that the President talked about is an age-long evil that the Creator never intended for humans from the get-go in Genesis.
Thank God that many white people including President Biden more than ever before see the need now for unity in diversity, just as the Creator originally intended for all of humanity, to cohabit in peace and love where justice and equality reign supreme. This is obvious because without unity and justice, there will never be peace and lasting progress.
Hence, further speaking from the White House, President Biden admonished the US to seize this verdict against Chauvin as a vital springboard to enact sustainable change in the nation’s policing and judicial systems. In the momentum of the moment of the pronouncement of the verdict, President Biden also recalled the bold assertion of Gianna Floyd (George Floyd’s daughter) telling the president of the world’s strongest democracy that, “Daddy changed the world.”
Indeed, the narratives of our global community shifted forward a little bit. And the history of human civilization would be incomplete without writing the name of George Floyd with a golden pen on a diamond-plated marble. Though more should be done to integrate the blacks and brown people in the leadership and mainstream of the American nation and the global community.
Former US President Barack Obama aptly stated that, “True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day. … And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.”
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, aptly remarked that although the guilty verdict against Chauvin is a welcome development, it “underlines that there’s an awful lot of work to do.” In London, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, succinctly stated on his Twitter page he “was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict.” In the same vein, London Mayor Sadiq Khan noted that, “By itself – this guilty verdict won’t heal the pain of the loss felt by George Floyd’s loved ones, and by people across the globe. But it can, and must, lead to immediate and lasting change everywhere.
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the verdict but said it “underlines that there’s an awful lot of work to do.” The United Nations Human Rights’ High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet noted that “the evidence in this case was crystal clear. Any other result would have been a travesty of justice.”
Though the guilty verdict in favor of Floyd won’t raise him from death, it’s a step forward towards healing the anguish of Floyd’s family and the pain of the global community traumatized with such crime against humanity. Much more, we all look forward to the Biden’s administration with the support of the Legislature and the Judiciary to enact more reforms in our policing and judicial systems that will make America to remain as the city on the global hill that Jesus Christ talked about in the Beatitude (Matthew 5: 3—12).
In all these, Word Bank International Magazine lauds the role played by Darnella Frazier in exposing this deadly brutality that Chauvin exerted on Floyd by posting the last minutes of this victim of police brutality, hate, and racism on social media. Minnesota state governor, Tim Walz in the public showed appreciation to Darnella Frazier, remarking, “Taking that video, I think many folks know, maybe the only reason Derek Chauvin will go to prison.”
The Role of God in the Whole Process Leading to Justice Prevailing Over Hate
While applauding Darnella Frazier for her gut brilliance and the global community for their vocal support and peaceful protests, it’s of great importance to return all glory to God for orchestrating the whole process leading to justice winning over hate in the monstrous murder of George Floyd. Frazier herself declared on her Instagram page, “THANK YOU GOD, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.”
In case you didn’t see her first “THANK YOU GOD,” you can read the second, the third or the fourth time she gave credit to God for enabling her to be near the spot at the very moment that Floyd breathed his last 10 minutes on planet earth. “THANK YOU GOD”’ for intuitively enabling Frazier to courageously video Chauvin tortuously murder Floyd, while Frazier’s 9-year-old cousin in anguish watched that heinous crime against humanity.
“THANK YOU GOD” for inspiring Frazier to boldly post her video recording with the anguish expressed in Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” on social media. “THANK YOU GOD” for your resilient spirit in Darnella Frazier enabling her to take a stand to testify in the trial against Derek Chauvin. “THANK YOU GOD” for enabling the trial jury to impartially and objectively allow justice to win over hate, animosity and vicious brutality. In fact, Frazier was not the only one recognizing God in this whole process of getting justice to win over hate, prejudice, injustice, brutality, oppression, and animosity at least for once.
Oprah Winfrey joyfully declared on her Twitter page: “I’m grateful to the witnesses and their testimonies. Grateful to Darnella Frazier. Grateful to every juror for seeing and acknowledging what the world saw on that tape. Thank you God for real!” The leadership and management of Word Bank International Magazine also join with hundreds of millions of people around the world who were pained by the tortuous murder of Floyd but also relieved by the guilty verdict against Chauvin handed by the impartial jury under God to say, “Thank you God for real.”
For real? Yes, for real! Really, it’s important to underline and understand, so that we don’t underestimate the real reasons for hundreds of millions of people in our global community feeling relieved, joyful and of course thankful to God and all those who in different ways contributed towards the verdict against Chauvin in tortuous murder of Floyd.
It’s not a white versus black case. It’s even a case against police, because there are very many good officers in the police department. There are few bad apples in every race and every institution and every community. Therefore, the celebration over the guilty verdict on Chauvin is a multi-racial response against evil. It was a crime against humanity exemplified with the way Derek Chauvin under the cover of police tortured George Floyd to death. Look closely at the various videos and pictures, you will find even more whites and colored people than blacks rejoicing about the verdict signaling the triumph of justice over evil.
Even in communities which are predominantly white with colored people being next in population density while blacks are in minority, we found the same expression of fury and anguish over Floyd’s tortuous death coupled with the sense of relief and joy over the Jury’s guilty verdict on 20th April. This goes to show irrespective of sex, ideology, race and religion, it’s people desire to see justice win over hate and crime against humanity.
Any lover of justice is a lover of God, for our Creator is God of justice and his name is also Justice. Therefore the guilty verdict and the resultant jubilation and celebration across racial divides in the global landscape is not an indirect global war against the institution of police. It’s not necessarily a racially motivated celebration of the verdict. Otherwise, the whites who trooped out in large numbers to express relief and joy over the verdict wouldn’t have done so. Rather, it’s a celebration by hundreds of millions of people from all races, religions and orientations to mark the triumph of justice over hate and crime against humanity.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
By Chukwudi Chuck Eke
Publisher, Word bank International Magazine