Religion Unplugged

Murder conviction in George Floyd’s death: Why the power of faith is important

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

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This week’s big news — former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all counts in George Floyd’s murder — is a story about police brutality. And racial justice. And yes, the power of faith.

USA Today captures this powerful scene:

George Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd was sitting with his head bowed and his hands folded in front of his face in prayer before the verdict was read. As each verdict was read, his hands increasingly shook and his head nodded up and down.

“I was just praying they would find him guilty. As an African American, we usually never get justice,” Floyd said.

The exceptional coverage by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Chao Xiong and Paul Walsh contains this important highlight:

As news spread of the verdicts — guilty on all counts — social media sites reposted the Minneapolis Police Department’s initial report that Floyd died of a medical event at the scene, an assertion that might never have been contradicted so forcefully were it not for a teenage girl, Darnella Frazier, walking by and recording Floyd’s death last May 25 on her cellphone and posting it for the world to see.

“I just cried so hard. This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety [busting] through the roof,” Frazier, who was 17 at the time, posted on Facebook after the verdict. “But to know GUILTY ON ALL 3 CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU … George Floyd we did it!! Justice has been served.”

And the Los Angeles Times’ Kurtis Lee recounts this scene:

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

RELATED: GQ’s religion-focused cover story is worth a read even for non-Beliebers

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