By Solomon Jones | Inquirer.com
As the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is accused of killing George Floyd by mercilessly pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck, begins this week, I am convinced that Black people need healing as much as we need justice.
There is a persistent heartache that comes with the knowledge that some of those who are sworn to protect Americans believe that doing so involves killing citizens who look like me. That pain is coupled with anger each time I see a still from the video of George Floyd’s death—a still in which Chauvin stares defiantly into a camera as Floyd dies beneath his knee.
It doesn’t matter to me that prosecutors have determined that Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes 29 seconds rather than 8 minutes 46 seconds. What matters to me is that Donald Wynn Williams II, the third witness in Chauvin’s trial, took the stand and said what all of us were thinking when we saw the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for what seemed like an eternity.
“I believe I witnessed a murder,” said Williams, a mixed martial artist who wiped away tears as he listened to a recording of his own call to 911 on the day Floyd died.
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