Students react to Derek Chauvin conviction

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Emma Newman staff writer 

Candice Anvari staff writer 

Former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd on Tuesday, April 20. Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges he faced: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Many students within the district had a strong reaction to this conviction. 

On May 25, 2020, Chauvin detained and murdered Floyd by pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds, as Floyd pleaded for his life. The released video stirred millions of Americans around the nation to protest in remembrance of Floyd and in avocation for racial justice and the end of  police brutality. The verdict of the trial received widespread support, including from high school students. 

When the news about Floyd’s murder came out, senior Dorsa Samouha was “dumbfounded” by Chauvin’s act, specifically because he was a police officer. 

“I think that I can speak for many people in saying that the murder was shocking and left me speechless because of the fact that there was an argument about whether or not the murder was justified, even though the video clearly showed that Derek Chauvin was at fault. I felt disgusted by the people who were trying to justify Derek Chauvin’s actions,” Samouha said.  

Similar to the “disgust” Samouha felt, president of the club Diversify our Narrative junior Georgia Evensen was angry when she heard about the news of Floyd’s murder. 

“I was sickened and enraged seeing the video of his murder again and again on social media,” Evensen said. “It definitely made me and many others truly face how deeply white supremacy is ingrained in the systems in place in the U.S., specifically in the police.” 

When freshman Hannah Pinchuk heard about George Floyd’s murder, she felt “just disappointment.” 

“So many black people are getting killed at the hands of police, and to see another one is so upsetting,” Pinchuk said. 

However, when she read the verdict to Chauvin’s trial, she was instantly “relieved.” Still, she believes that there needs to be changes in the justice system to prevent events like this in the future. 

“We need to fix the police system and the justice system desperately because even though this case was won, so many others have been ignored,” Pinchuk said. “Just after the verdict was announced, a young black girl, who was only 16, named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed at the hands of a police officer. This shouldn’t be happening. The police are here to protect and serve, but instead they are killing innocent people.” 

Like Pinchuk, Black Student Union (BSU) president junior B’Anwi Fomukong does not believe that justice was served in Floyd’s case, as she thinks that the concept of justice is “more of a global issue.” Evensen agrees, especially because of Ma’Khia Bryant’s murder shortly after, and hopes that more change occurs in the future. 

“I think that convicting Chauvin is the bare minimum thing that could have been done. Convicting one murderer cop, out of 1000’s, does absolutely nothing to change the corrupted system,” Evensen said.  “I think that this conviction is going to appease a lot of people into thinking that justice is served when the fight is so far from over.” 

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