The eyes of the nation and the world have been focused on Minneapolis from the opening arguments in the Derek Chauvin murder trial of George Floyd to the jury’s surprisingly swift decision to convict the former police officer on all three counts.

But it remains to be seen if this case will serve as the beginning of a new direction in equal justice for Americans regardless of race or if it will count as an anomaly in our nation’s storied history of the conflict between law enforcement and people of color.

In an online poll taken locally by Fox5 shortly after the announcement of the verdict, an overwhelming majority of respondents said they remain doubtful that there will be any significant change in ongoing demands for police reform.

As reporters for The Washington Informer reached out to members of the community to ascertain their views of what’s to come, one response stands out above the rest. One reader, an African American, said they have grown fed up with being treated like the perpetrator of a crime simply because of the color of their skin.

Among the Black community, we often talk about the dangers we face from the police as we commit the “crime” of “walking while Black.” But such tongue-in-cheek remarks are quite serious and in many instances, point back to situations that are real and not fictitious. This explains why we will continue to shed a light on the inequities faced by people of color when confronted by law enforcement officials and why we can no longer allow such injustice to remain the norm.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. Change takes a long time, but it does happen. … Each of us who works for social change is part of the mosaic of all who work for justice; together we can accomplish multitudes.”

Maybe the pendulum has finally swung in our direction. Perhaps that long-requested moment of change has finally come.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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