Opinion: A Month Long Trial for a Murder that the World saw Proves the Reality of Racial Injustice in our Nation

Laaibah Tayyeb, Writer

In May 2020, White ex-police officer Derek Chauvin murdered an unarmed Black man, George Floyd. This murder set off worldwide protests due to the continuous inferiority that Black people face at the hands of the police. 


Floyd was handcuffed and lying facedown on the pavement during the agonizingly long period that Chauvin’s knee was on his neck. Nonetheless, we enter the third week of the trial for a murder that the world saw. 


The realization that Derek Chauvin’s trial and conviction will not be an easy trial, even with the amounts of evidence against him, just further proves how Black people are time and time again disadvantaged in America.


Currently, Chauvin is being charged with second-degree murder, which means causing death without intent. The maximum sentence is 40 years.


A third-degree murder charge was also added. According to Minnesota state law, the maximum penalty for third-degree murder is 25 years. Additionally, the least serious charge, second-degree manslaughter, is being considered. 


The fact that multiple days are being devoted to this trial is absurd. His lawyer had even argued that his use of force was “unattractive but necessary”.


Many can agree that if Chauvin was a Black man this trial would be no debate, and would take no where near a month. 


Time and time again, the double standards of the American legal system and police are proven. 

A prime example of this is Kelly Williams-Bolar, who was sentenced to 3 years of prison and forced to pay $30,000 to the school district for using a different residence to allow her daughters to attend a better school district than the underprivileged one in her area. 


On the other hand, celebrity Lori Loughin served a mere 2 months in “prison” (that allegedly offers inmates classes in yoga, Pilates, painting, calligraphy, crochet, and origami) for bribing the University of Southern California with $500,000 to ensure her two daughters were admitted to the rowing crew team recruits, even though neither were involved in the sport. 


It’s frustrating to know that this is the reality of our nation.