In May last year, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds.
In a video filmed by one of the reviewers, Mr Floyd could be heard begging for his life and uttering his dying words: «I can’t breathe.»
The footage went viral and sparked a global protest movement calling for an end to racial injustice and police brutality.
While covering the Black Lives Matter protests last year, I was struck by the fact that the marchers weren’t just members of the African American community. Protesters came from all races and backgrounds.
Calls for change have never been louder and the campaign for equality has gained new momentum.
When a jury convicted Derek Chauvin in April, she watched crowds celebrate outside the Minneapolis courthouse but many I spoke to used words like «stepping stone» and «a step in the right direction.»
They saw convictions as a stepping stone rather than a turning point in the battle for criminal justice reform.
There is now a renewed focus on this struggle afterwards Derek Chauvin received a sentence of 22 and a half years in prison بالسجن.
– RTÉ News (@rtenews) 25 June 2021
Civil rights advocate Reverend Al Sharpton said that while it was the longest ruling ever made for such a case, it was no cause for celebration.
«One sentence does not solve the problem of criminal justice,» he said.
In March, the US House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice Policing Bill, which would ban chokehold detention and no-strike orders. It would also create a misconduct register with the national police and remove some legal protections for police officers.
US President Joe Biden wanted to sign the bill into law on the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death, which fell on May 25.
However, he was unable to do so, as the legislation was not passed by the US Senate amid disagreements between Republicans and Democrats.
On Thursday, congressional negotiators said they had agreed on a bipartisan framework for police reform.
«After months of working in good faith, we have reached agreement on a framework that addresses key issues of bipartisan police reform,» the statement read.
«There is still more work to be done on the final bill, and nothing has been agreed upon until everything is agreed. Over the next few weeks, we look forward to continuing our work toward getting a final proposal across the finish line.»
Passing a single piece of police reform legislation won’t end the systemic racism people still face in the United States, but many believe it would at least be a step in the right direction.
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