Alexander: The Fight For Justice Is Not Over


Mark Draper

Demonstrators raise their fists in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in front of the Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 4, 2020. (Photo by Mark Draper | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By CJ Alexander, Opinion Writer


In a landmark decision, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder for the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man whose death sparked nationwide outrage and massive protests. The verdict left politicians, Black Lives Matter advocates and the public in triumphant spirits, but I do not think we should be celebrating Chauvin’s conviction. I am relieved to see Chauvin convicted for killing George Floyd, but I understand and recognize that the path to justice is far from complete.

Chauvin being charged with a crime was remarkable in itself. In America, police are rarely held accountable, as officers can and have gotten away with killing Black people and other minorities. Black lives lost to police brutality are numerous, including the lives of Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and Michael Brown. All were shot dead by police, and yet the officers who killed them are not convicted of any crimes. We are nowhere close to justice.

We cannot allow ourselves to become accustomed to these situations. Too often we hear about another Black life lost to police, but all we do is acknowledge it and move on. We have grown numb to the numerous instances of excessive police force against Black people and minorities, and we continue with our lives saying “that could have been me or my family or my friend.” But these comments are not going to change the nation. We need to actively fight for every person who dies at the hands of the police. We cannot give up after fighting for George Floyd.

One conviction will not eradicate racism in America. This conviction will not stop police brutality. It will not stop deadly traffic stops. It will not stop oppression at voting booths. It will not stop the fear that lives within the Black community each time they interact with a police officer. The conviction is simply a step in the right direction, but a step in a marathon is hardly a feat to celebrate. Racism is incredibly adamant in this country, so the fight and march for Black Lives should not end.  

Our fight for justice and for the eradication of racism in our American systems is not over. We need to restore community relations with minorities and police. We need police accountability by ensuring that officers who use excessive force on citizens are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We still need to fight to make sure Black lives are given the chance of due process instead of having their lives snuffed out by a reckless, racist officer. Until the day that Black people and minorities are safe from deadly interactions with police, we need to keep fighting for the United States’ humanity. We will never win until every citizen is given the chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are not America until that is a reality.


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