After ex-officer’s conviction in George Floyd’s killing, Jerry Taylor reflects on police reform, spiritual activism and peacemaking.
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
As former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s killing, millions of Americans watched on live television.
Jerry Taylor, founding director of the Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action at Abilene Christian University in Texas, was not one of them.
“I felt like the best way that I could protect the health of my own sanity and the well-being of my own soul was just to use that time to ask God to address our hunger and our thirst for righteousness,” Taylor told The Christian Chronicle.
“And I prayed that God’s justice, his righteousness, would prevail in this case,” the veteran minister and Bible professor added. “Because we needed to have some indication that the country still had the capability, or at least was striving to have the capacity, to appropriate justice in a fair and balanced way.”
Jurors found Chauvin guilty April 20 of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck — for 9½ minutes — and ignoring the Black man’s complaints that he couldn’t breathe.
Taylor welcomed the verdict and called it a positive step toward justice.
But he said he’ll reserve final judgment until Chauvin’s sentencing, scheduled for June 25.
This story appears in the June edition of The Christian Chronicle.