My wife was marking the time we have spent in COVID isolation by referring to "when you changed your name to Black Lives Matter David Caven." This was the moment when I changed my social media tag to reflect my state of mind. My state of being. I felt that I could never do enough to raise this idea up to the degree it needed to be raised. So I put it out there as an introduction of sorts. "Hi, my name is David Caven, and I would like to talk to you about all manner of things serious and not so serious, but first: Black Lives Matter."
This was true six months ago, and it's true now. Moving forward and going back, Black Lives Matter.
That being said, over and over, I would like to address the trial of Derek Chauvin. Ten months ago, this was the guy whose knee was on George Floyd's neck for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds. On May 25, 2020, Black Lives Mattered. Mister Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Because after more than nine minutes of having his airway compressed by Chauvin's knee, George Floyd died.
At this point, I would like to zoom out for a moment and address once again the word "alleged." Until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, most of the reports that you will read about this trial will include that word around Derek Chauvin's name or his crime. This convention will continue until conviction, even though there is video evidence, from several angles and sources, of the murder taking place. There will be a parade of witnesses brought to the stand to describe the scene that we have all been witness over the past year. Meanwhile, the crime that George Floyd allegedly committed which brought such swift and terrible retribution was trying to pass a counterfeit twenty dollar bill. This alleged crime is punishable, under Minnesota state law, of a one thousand dollar fine or one year in prison. The prosecution of this particular case will not be continued because the alleged perpetrator was killed. The twenty dollar bill is now just a curiosity piece. Discussion of the hows and whys of George Floyd's alleged crime fall into the category of pure speculation at this point.
While we watch that video again. And again. And again.
The most serious charge facing Derek Chauvin a sentence of up to forty years in prison. He is currently enjoying his right to trial by jury. George Floyd is dead. It has taken nearly a year for the process that might put Mister Chauvin in jail. It took nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds for Chauvin to render his verdict on George Floyd. Recent history has told us not to be surprised by any verdict handed down in Chauvin's trial. While acquittal seems outrageous under the circumstances and the evidence that exists, we have all witnessed confusing and confounding decisions in similar cases. Each of these has served to rub an already inflamed sense of injustice raw.
I know it's horrible to look at. But we all need to watch.
Black Lives Matter.