While the verdict of "guilty, guilty, guilty" in the Derek Chauvin trial brought relief, it did not bring justice. Justice would have been that George Floyd lived.

The verdict may have given some degree of closure to the Floyd family and Chauvin will be in prison for a long time. What we do know for sure is that police reform is more urgent and more necessary than ever before.

During the Chauvin trial, Duante Wright lost his life to a police bullet because the white officer allegedly couldn't tell her pistol from her Taser. Other Blacks have been killed by white police since then. Also disturbing and indicative of the pervasiveness of white racism is that the day after Chauvin was convicted, a WCCO radio talk show host expressed his disappointment at receiving a flood of texts from listeners saying they felt sorry for Chauvin but expressed no sympathy for the Floyd family.

So what do we do? Redefine the roles and function of our police departments? Emphasize community policing by requiring the police to live in the neighborhoods they are supposed to protect? Make sure the police are educated in the history and culture of people of color before they hit the streets? Ban chokeholds, no-knock entry, and other dangerous practices? Put more emphasis on public safety than on minor infractions? Recruit more police candidates of color?

Unfortunately, it is more complicated than that. What about 400 years of racial stereotyping? We have to change the mindset of those who see Blacks and other people of color as the problem rather than realizing that white racism is the problem.

Don Strasser


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