America is watching the George Floyd trial. The world is too. It began last week, and the media is covering it on every side.
It is difficult for me to watch as the testimony has been riveting and full of passion. Witnesses have cried and those of us at home have shed tears.
The memories of this horrific murder are still fresh and are still lodged in our minds. They have not gone away.
We have used eight minutes and forty-six seconds as the amount of time Derek Chauvin––the then Minneapolis police officer––had his knee on the neck of George Floyd.
New testimony has shown that it was nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds. Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said, 9-2-9 were the “three most important numbers in this case.”
That was the time it took to squeeze “the very life” out of George Floyd.
Chris Stewart, an attorney for Floyd’s family said, “It’s heartbreaking to know the torture lasted even longer.”
This unspeakable act has taken on a new level of both stain and sadness.
The stain of it is that a human being would commit this heinous act without any remorse or contrition. The sadness of it is that a life was taken, and George Floyd’s last breath was in anguish and pain.
We saw this crime against life unfold on television raw and uncut.
This was not a hold up and no lockdowns were in place. Special police forces were not needed.
You and I saw one man callously and recklessly commit murder.
This one man was not just any man. He was a police officer who took an oath to protect and to serve. Van Jones, CNN political commentator said, “You want the police to obey the law.” In my opinion, he did not fulfill his oath.
I have an expression that I have been using a lot lately. It is “you can’t defend the indefensible.” You cannot in good conscience defend what happened to George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Yet some will disagree with my assertion.
Eric Nelson, the attorney for Derek Chauvin is wanting the jury to consider and review all the facts in the case. Nelson is saying Chauvin was doing what he was trained to do.
There have been experts like former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey who have disagreed.
Lt. Richard Zimmerman has also taken issue with attorney Nelson’s statements. In his testimony, he said he was never instructed to kneel on someone’s neck who had on handcuffs.
Lt. Zimmerman is not just any police officer. He is the most senior police officer in the Minneapolis police force. His opinions and statements matter.
There have been several witnesses who have testified, and they say they saw the same thing. They saw George Floyd slowly losing his life because Derek Chauvin had his knee on his neck.
As the trial progresses, there will be some who will try to convince the jury otherwise. They will bring up points that are immaterial and irrelevant.
The facts simply do not lie. The truth will come out because it always does.
Onlookers looked and were rendered helpless by the police. They watched just feet away as a murder was being committed.
What was going through their minds as his life was coming to an end?
Maybe Darnella Frazier, a teenager, said it best. She said, “It’s been nights I’ve stayed up apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life. But it’s not what I should have done, it’s what he should have done.”
She was talking about Derek Chauvin.
Dr. James B. Ewers Jr., is a youth advocate, consultant, author and president emeritus of the Teen Mentoring Committee (TMC) of Ohio.