There are so many people in our country that just received a breath of fresh air. It’s almost been a year since the back-to-back killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, but hundreds of years of injustice! Thousands of families have lost their loved ones due to police brutality over the years. Today, April 20, 2021, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. 

“This is a victory for those who champion humanity over inhumanity, those who champion justice over injustice,” Attorney Ben Crump says after Chauvin is found guilty on all three counts. “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however—because justice implies restoration. But it is accountability,” He continued. 

Derek Chauvin faces a 40-year maximum sentence for the second-degree unintentional murder conviction, a 25-year sentence for third-degree murder, and a 10-year sentence for second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin was handcuffed with no bail privileges, and his sentencing will be in eight weeks.

Paris Stevens, Floyd’s cousin, said the family was awake most of the night discussing the trial.

“We want police to do their job and to serve and protect, but are we using the excessive force or can we de-escalate another way? We don’t want it to always end in death. And all police officers do not have ill intentions. We know that. But correction has to be made. And with this guilty verdict, it’s a step in the right direction that those who act ill-advised will be sentenced and held accountable,” Stevens said.

Celebrations have erupted outside the courthouse in Minneapolis as people cheer “all three counts” after Derek Chauvin was found guilty. “Justice for Black America is justice for all of America,” the Floyd family’s attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement. It’s been a long year for the Black community. We are all family, and when one person has to endure such hatred by police, we all hurt. The guilty verdict was just one long-overdue step in the right direction for social justice.