One year on from the murder of George Floyd, various colleagues share their reflections of the last year, from Mr Floyd’s death to the Black Lives Matter uprising and Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction.
In this article, Liz Collins, Senior Crown Prosecutor shares her personal reflection.
The death of Mr Floyd impacted me personally.
I attended a demo at the Clock Tower last summer to commemorate him and to highlight racial intolerance.
I was recovering from COVID-19 at the time, and was still a bit shaky and emotional.
We knelt for the amount of time that it took for Derek Chauvin to murder Mr Floyd.
I always knew I was a very lucky woman. I am a white, not differently-abled, straight CIS woman. I come from a middle-class background.
I was privately educated and have never really had to fight for anything (except perhaps being taken seriously in my profession due to my sex).
I always considered myself to be woke and like numerous other white privileged women, bemoaned racial intolerance and indeed intolerance of any kind.
However, it wasn’t until I knelt on the cold wet ground in my shivery achy state, that it all really dawned on me how privileged I am. I was ashamed to be white and to be part of a race responsible for these ongoing atrocities – both visible and not so visible.
I was pleased at the jury decision in the case. I hope that Chauvin receives the maximum sentence for second degree murder in the US.
I hope that this jury decision will mark a turning point in the treatment of people of colour, but particularly Black men, in the criminal justice system.
There is still a very long way to go.