Frederick K. Brewington, Esq., a civil rights attorney and Principal of The Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington, says the guilty verdict brought against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is a welcome, albeit overdue, decision that should be an impetus to implement changes in police tactics when interacting with alleged suspects who happen to be persons of color.
On May 25, 2020, Mr. Chauvin killed George Floyd by placing his knee on the neck for nine-and-a-half minutes. Although Mr. Floyd said he was unable to breathe, Mr. Chauvin kept his knee in place. Mr. Floyd was rendered unconscious and later transported to a hospital, and was pronounced dead.
Mr. Chauvin was charged with two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter on May 29, 2020, three days after being fired from the force. On April 20, 2021, after deliberating for one day, a jury found Mr. Chauvin guilty on all three counts of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder.
“This verdict is an important point for us as a Country,” Mr. Brewington said. “I hope that local governments and police departments nationwide will now place this matter behind them but place it before them and change the way their officers deal with people of color and change policing on all levels. This verdict provides a sense of hope that justice can be served, and that it has been long overdue. This is a step in the right direction, but there is so much more to do.”
Mr. Brewington is an Advisory Board Member of the National Police Accountability Project and a Member of the Long Island Advocates for Police Accountability, which helped launch the Police Reform Action Plan and was formed in response to Mr. Floyd’s death as the result of Mr. Chauvin’s actions. He has written numerous articles and opinion pieces for various newspapers and magazines and been interviewed by numerous publications, TV and radio stations on police accountability. In addition, he has been a guest speaker and panelist at numerous conferences.