Yesterday, the verdict was returned in the trial for the killing of George Floyd, convicting Derek Chauvin on all three counts of murder and manslaughter. The entire world witnessed Floyd’s death on video when Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while Floyd was handcuffed and repeatedly heard saying, “I can’t breathe.”
Sadly, countless other Black and Brown people have been murdered over the years due to racial violence and abuse of power. Daunte Wright, a young father stopped for a traffic violation, and Adam Toledo, 13, are the most recent tragedies. Most of these deaths were not caught on camera and justice was never served.
As a Black man, waiting for this verdict felt like waiting to hear if we — my fellow Black and Brown colleagues and community members— are loved. Would we be loved this time? Would the jurors see us? Would the video evidence matter?
I am grateful for the verdict, but the verdict doesn’t bring back Floyd, a beloved father, grandfather, son, brother, cousin, athlete, artist, and friend to many. Floyd’s six-year-old daughter said after his death, “Daddy changed the world.”
Now let’s keep changing it.
When we talk about creating a beloved community at King County Metro and beyond, remember that a beloved community does not mean we won’t have conflict or differing opinions. It’s about creating a community that can address problems directly with respect, accountability, and love.
We have our work cut out for us, but I know that change is possible. At Metro, we’re committed to continue to work alongside those we serve to create the community we all deserve.
Terry White is general manager of King County Metro.