Where’s The Justice?

Derek Chauvin in his most recent mugshot

Derek Chauvin in his most recent mugshot

Shannon Studts, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, April 20th, Derek Chauvin, the ex-cop who killed George Floyd, was convicted of all charges. Those charges included second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The maximum sentence he could face is 75 years in prison. However, Derek Chauvin probably won’t spend the rest of his life in prison for the brutal murder of George Floyd. And we are already starting to see his privilege shine through. Derek Chauvin might be going to jail, but he’s not going to rot there. He’s protected. He’s protected through the murder of George Floyd.

Right now, Chauvin is in Oak Park Heights State Prison. This prison is home to some of the most notorious criminals alive, and because of this, prisoners don’t interact with each other. Chauvin won’t meet the many innocent black men in prison because of the oppressive system. His prison experience will be riddled with white security guards treating him well, with protection from other prisoners, something that only he will get. Derek Chauvin is in a segregated housing unit. For his safety. This man killed a human being and he is being held in a separate living unit for his safety.

This is not accountability. Derek Chauvin isn’t going to have the same prison experience as any other murderer. He’s going to have visits, he’s going to have the same white privilege that he had outside a cell.

Additionally, he might not even get that tough a sentencing. Chauvin doesn’t have a scratch on his record. Granted, his clean record is predictable seeing as he’s a cisgender straight white cop, but that doesn’t change the fact that his record, whether it reflects the truth or not, is clean. This will help him get a better sentence. A better sentence that he in no way deserves.

Finally, Derek Chauvin can appeal and appeal and appeal. He is fully capable of getting this verdict overturned. Our system is strong, but it is weak, too. The protestors, the black youth, the public, have gotten this trial to where it is now, and without that constant pressure, Chauvin wouldn’t have been convicted. If that young girl with guts and a cell phone camera hadn’t taken that heartbreaking video, Derek Chauvin wouldn’t have even been arrested. Chauvin has money, he has power. He carries his privilege with him wherever he goes, whether it be the streets or the cell.

We can’t achieve justice right now. We can’t bring Gianna Floyd’s dad back. But we can achieve accountability. We need to stay strong, and maybe, just maybe, a murderer will be kept in jail.