COLUMBUS, Ohio – Zach Usmani gripped his telephone, shoulders hunched over the steering wheel as he sat in his parked automobile exterior a health club in Columbus, Ohio. He was watching a video livestream when Judge Peter Cahill learn the decision within the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
Wow, Usmani thought, as Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter within the of loss of life of George Floyd, who died whereas Chauvin had him handcuffed with a knee on his neck.
The 32-year-old mentioned he felt relieved, however not happy.
“I hope people recognize this is not enough and this alone is not justice,” he mentioned.
A half-hour later, information broke that Columbus police had shot and killed a 16-year-old Black girl after responding to a 911 name at 4:35 p.m. EDT Tuesday about an tried stabbing.
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The deep sighs of aid, drawn by the Black neighborhood, protesters, activists and allies after Chauvin’s responsible verdict had been punctured by the information of one other loss of life of a Black particular person by the hands of police.
“Relief is just so tepid. It’s tepid because I know this does not protect the next person from getting shot, protect the next person from being brutalized,” Usmani mentioned. “The police just can’t stop themselves from killing Black people even with all the attention on this.”
The shooting comes as many advocates – from neighborhood activists to members of Floyd’s household to high-profile civil rights lawyer Ben Crump – across the nation stress that progress remains to be wanted within the areas of police reform and racial fairness.
“Given the history of these kinds of cases, I was surprised,” Floyd’s brother, Terrence, instructed the USA TODAY Network on Tuesday in New York’s Times Square. “I know there’s still more work to be done.”
Body camera video released by Columbus police Tuesday shows an officer approaching a driveway with a group of young people standing around. In the video, it appears that the 16-year-old, identified as Ma’Khia Bryant, pushes or swings at a person who falls to the ground.
Bryant then appears to swing a knife at a girl who is on the hood of a car, and the officer fires his weapon what sounds like four times, striking the girl.
‘We have to keep going’
Ramon Obey II, an activist and president of JUST (Justice, Unity & Social Transformation), a community organization in Columbus that hosts a biweekly food program, watched the Chauvin verdict on TV with his mom, sister and younger brother.
“We were very unsure on how this would turn out,” he said, recalling how his mom remembered being glued to the TV almost 30 years ago after the officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted.
The 23-year-old described the feeling of hearing a guilty verdict to the butterflies in your stomach that drop while riding a rollercoaster.
“I’m flabbergasted,” he said. “It’s honestly like the words can’t come to me quick enough, because even though I’ve seen a man murdered on video, I didn’t know if America had seen a man murdered on video.”
But his excitement was short-lived.
After hearing news of the police shooting in Columbus on Tuesday, Obey said he was unsurprised.
“The system of policing is broken, and until change takes place we are doomed to keep repeating these tragedies,” he said.
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The feeling that more work still needs to be done is a sentiment echoed by activists around the nation, who view the guilty verdict a milestone not a finish line.
“This means everything, this is long, long overdue,” mentioned Selena McKnight, 46, of Minneapolis, who after listening to the decision threw her arms round her 18-year-old daughter as a crowd cheered. “But this doesn’t stop here. We have to keep going.”
For Traci Fant, the organizer of Freedom Fighters Upstate SC in Greenville, South Carolina, the verdict was a result of “all the pieces that we fought for final yr,” but she still views it as a launching pad for something more.
“Hopefully, this proper right here is basically going to begin some true reforms, some true conversations about police brutality, and police justice and present them that Black lives really matter,” Fant said.
Crump, the attorney for George Floyd’s family, said he hopes the verdict will spark more justice in the future.
“My hope is that this case units a precedent that we are going to have once we say, ‘For liberty and justice for all,’ that that can imply all people in America. Black Americans. Native Americans. Hispanic Americans. Asian Americans. It will imply all of us,” Crump said.
The question of justice is subjective, Heather Johnson said.
Johnson, a Columbus activist and mother of six, said that no guilty verdict will ever justify what happened to Floyd or the shooting death of the girl on Tuesday.
“How do you justify murdering a (16-year-old)? How do justify that? That is a toddler,” the 32-year-old said. “There is a by no means a cause to justify Columbus police officers murdering our kids.”
Despite the whiplash of watching the jury hand down Chauvin’s guilty verdict minutes after a Columbus officer shot and killed another Black person, activists including Usmani, Obey and Johnson said the future is worth fighting for.
“If I didn’t have hope I wouldn’t nonetheless be out right here,” Johnson said. “The cause why I proceed to press on and proceed to try to be on this battle with my brothers and sisters … I’m on this battle and this wrestle as a result of I don’t need my six children to be on this battle and wrestle.”
Contributing: Marco della Cava and Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY; Chris Maag, The Bergen Record in New Jersey; Angelia L. Davis, Greenville (South Carolina) News; staff of the USA TODAY Network.
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