In the next week, there will be a verdict on the Derek Chauvin case. Historically, police officers have not been acquitted in cases like this one. There is, however a cautious optimism that the Minnesota police officer will be convicted.
During a Sunday appearance on CNN, Representative Jim Clyburn explained that a guilty verdict in this case could be the start to real police reforms.
Host Pamela Brown asked, “What is your reaction to what is going on in Minneapolis tonight as America awaits the verdict of the Chauvin trial?”
The South Carolina lawmaker answered:
“I am like everybody else, anxiously awaiting this verdict. I do believe that what we saw with our own eyes all over the world, quite frankly, was a lynching taking place. George Floyd was lynched. That’s just plain and simple. We have got to bring this kind of stuff to an end. It could very well be this verdict [is what triggers reforms].”
“But for some strange reason,” Clyburn continued, “we seem to feel no matter what, every police officer must be treated as a saint, and we are now seeing it with our own eyes that that’s not the case. Something is wrong with us accepting the fact that just because you put on a gun and a badge, nothing else matters. That it makes you a saint and you are to be treated that way. That has to come to an end. I do hope that this verdict will start us on that journey.”
In the aftermath of the Floyd killing, multiple Republicans spoke out against Chauvin. It remains to be seen, however, if they will actually be willing to vote for any significant reforms.