LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — After the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, there are discussions being had nationwide about how to achieve racial equity in the criminal justice system.
USC professor Jody Armour is hopeful Chauvin’s charges will spark real change in the U.S.
“People talk not just about how to make the criminal justice system more racially fair but how to make American society more racially fair. They start to talk about systemic racism,” Armour said.
Attorney and former L.A. County prosecutor Steve Meister says she believes the verdict will continue the discussion.
“The difference between now and fifty years ago is that there are video cameras, people care and that something might actually be done,” Meister said. “Justice was done in a case where it should have been done.”
Professor Armour says the nation has come a long way since the Rodney King verdict in 1992.
“That gave rise to a moment but the George Floyd marches were part of a movement,” Armour said.
As charged, Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd died in May 2020 after Chauvin kneeled on his neck while Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”