OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Bay Area civil rights attorney John Burris felt relief to the Minnesota Jury finding former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.
“I’m very pleased that it happened. And I am relieved psychologically and emotionally cause I think to do otherwise would have been devastating to the African American community and all people of good will, regardless of their ethnic background.
Burris says history dating back to 1991’s Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King has shown a lack of accountability, but he hopes this verdict is an indication that times and beliefs are changing.
“I also hope this represents change in the public perception of claims of police brutality against African Americans. These are legitimate claims. And for the African American to feel like true citizens and respected by police and the community at large. The officers must be held to answer when they engage in outrageous conduct.”
Burris says it’s now important for prosecutors in counties where police misconduct happens to prosecute these cases so you have accountability on the part of officers.
“This is a wonderful display of what can happen if you present the evidence in a professional way, and you get a good cross section of jurors who are willing to listen. Justice can be served.”
Burris says this is symbolic of what can happen, not necessarily what will happen. He says in the meantime, communities must keep the pressure on to prosecute this type of behavior when it happens.