Justice Feeling Perplexed

I never knew one word read three times could sound so good. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

I should be elated, but actually, I’m not sure how to feel. On April 20, 2021, people all over the country waited nervously for the verdict of George Floyd’s murderer, the ex cop Derik Chauvin. To be honest, until the last charge was read, I was not able to breath. Then finally I exhaled a sigh of relief for justice for Mr. Floyd’s family, my own son, nephews, cousins, uncle’s, and friends and for people of color around the globe.

I never knew one word read three times could sound so good. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

But I’m also perplexed. Why? Because we still live in a world where I am, along side million who look like me, holding my breath and hoping justice is served this time. It should be served every time. Better yet this does not need to ever happen again. We as black people, in a “free” country, should expect our boys and men to come home safe. We shouldn’t lose our lives when we get stopped for a tail light. We shouldn’t have to be at the point of panic when we get pulled over bekieving this may be our last day alive.

For me personally, I’m a praying mother. But should my prayers include protect my son, daughter, and her husband from the police? My son is in the process of getting his driver’s license. For others this is a proud moment. But for me, I’m scared because his chances of dying at a traffic stop increase. This should not be!

We are we being murdered by cops for simple violations, when mass murderers are taken alive unless they kill themselves. Is the guilty verdict in the Derik Chauvin the beginning of change or just pacivity? Will police departments begin to hold officers accountable for choke holds, excessive force, killing children, or using their firearm instead less force? Although I hope Chauvin’s sentencing is great, more has to be done to ensure our safety while in custody.

So where do we go from here? There must be changes in how police are trained. Plus they need to stop putting officers in communities that they are afraid to protect. If you’re not afraid you are less likely to find a black man walking to the store a threat. Every nephew who has visited my home has been stopped by the police and questioned for walking to the store.

Will there ever be a day we can send our children into the world unafraid they will be murdered by police?

Thanks for hearing my thoughts,

Valerie Furr-Collins

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