BLM Plaza celebrates Chauvin verdict as killer cop goes to jail

Video: celebration on BLM Plaza 36 sec

On the 20th of April, the verdict came back in Derek Chauvin's case for murdering George Floyd: GUILTY on all counts. As he was led away to jail to await sentencing, celebrations broke out coast to coast. DC's Black Lives Matter plaza was no exception. Music played, people cheered, and a groups of bicyclists came through. Had Chauvin walked this would have gotten quite rough instead.

There is not one chance Chauvin would have been convicted without the video shot by a bystander-or without the continent-wide uprising triggered off by this horrific crime. When video went out showing Derek Chauvin's knee on George Floyd's neck for over 9 minutes, statues fell and smoke rose over the cities as people of color rose in revolt. Here in DC, four nights of fighting on the plaza were followed by Trump's infamous Bible photo-op at St Johns, the toppling of the Albert Pike statue right outside MPD's headquarters, months of smaller battles on and around the plaza, and march after march targetting rich condo owners as they dined outdoors.

It is widely hoped that Derek Chauvin will rot behind bars until that glorious day all jails and prisons are abolished and the doors swing open for all. More likely however his appeal will demand a mistrial on the grounds jurors knew damned well that a "not guilty" verdict after all that video evidence would burn Minneapolis to the ground. That could get him a new trial, though still in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt. It is also possible he could avoid prison at his sentencing, but for him to get no prison time while others spend decades in prison over a microscopic trace of drugs would again be highly incendiary. Given how difficult it is to convict a cop of any crime much less murder, there is widespread sentiment that jurors and the whole system tossed murdered Deruk Chauvin under the bus to keep city centers standing.

On the same night as all this, police in Columbus, Ohio murdered a teenage girl, proving NOTHING has changed except one murderer has been thrown overboard. This is NOT a night to celebrate anymore after that brutal killing, but had Derek Chauvin walked it could have gone down as "the night the war started."

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