Credit: Family photo

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! These are shouts that you hear in places of worship across the country.

You are thankful that your prayers are answered.

Many of us were not in a place of worship on Tuesday, April 20, when the verdict was read by Judge Peter Cahill. Like you, I was standing up because I was too nervous to sit down.

In my opinion, this was a defining moment in American history. Good overtook evil. Justice was served.

Our faith while tortured and tormented was restored.

Our months of anguish and anxiety turned into relief and exhilaration.

George Floyd, a Black man born in my home state of North Carolina, was murdered right in front of our eyes.

Was there no vindication for this crime committed by ex-policeman, Derek Chauvin? Yes, there was.

Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts.

We knew the charges and we talked about them with our family and friends. We read about them on the internet and on social media: 2nd degree unintentional murder, 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter.

In my opinion, when Judge Cahill read the verdicts, the coldness and callousness on Chauvin’s face matched the coldness and callousness in his heart on George Floyd’s final day on earth. Expressions of joy, unbridled happiness and relief have come from all over the country.

Deborah Watts, a cousin of Emmett Till, said, “They got it right. We have more work to do.” President Joe Biden said, “No one should be above the law.” Vice President Kamala Harris said, “A measure of justice is not the same as equal justice.”

It is the shared opinion of many that we would not have seen a measure of justice had it not been for a teenage girl.

Darnella Frazier, a Minneapolis teen, filmed the entire horrific event using her cell phone.

When interviewed she said, “The world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”

The silence Darnella Frazier talked about happened in 1955 when Emmett Till was murdered. Justice was not thought about and was never considered.

Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, said, “Emmett Till was the first George Floyd.”

I must temper my feelings about this case.

Yes, I am happy about the verdict, yet we in the Black and Brown community come out sad and denied on too many occasions.

This verdict must strengthen our resolve to go on and fight harder for criminal justice reform. Our celebrations must be short-lived because the system is still the system.

It is a diabolical trap full of loopholes and legislation that is anti-people of color.

We are still guilty until proven innocent. As Black men, we are still being terrorized by police who do not themselves uphold the law.

We cannot, must not and will not drop our guard.

As people of color, we are tired of being frightened and fearful when we are driving and see the police behind us. Tired and fearful of the apprehension we feel when the police stand at the side of our car and tell us to get out.

Our movements are magnified and analyzed as we do not know what will happen next.

In a recent ABC NewsWashington Post poll, 63% of Americans say Black people and other minorities do not receive equal treatment.

We must be anchored in getting police reform for this country. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 must be passed at the federal level.

Momentum is on the side of we who want changes in how the police do business. The old way is going out and the new way is coming in!

I believe America is ready.