The movement for Black lives, the protests against police violence, and Chauvin’s conviction renew the hope that your phone’s camera can bolster the potential for consequences when officers violate people's rights.
Derek Chauvin, imbued with the authority of the city of Minneapolis, murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020, a jury of his peers found on Tuesday. Charged with three counts—second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter—Chauvin is guilty of them all. The key to his conviction: A video, nine minutes long, horrific, and true.
Had that teenager not recorded that video, the world would likely not know George Floyd’s name, Chauvin would still be a police officer, and a swath of white America would still be able to believe that police violence is not a problem. People would, instead, have relied on the lies the Minnesota Police Department told about Floyd’s murder—that he died because he “physically resisted officers” and, once in handcuffs, “appeared to be suffering medical distress.” That those officers then, simply, “called for an ambulance,” which transported him to a hospital “where he died a short time later.”