NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 20: People in Times Square listen to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial … [+]
Even before the verdict was pronounced, the Derek Chauvin murder trial dominated social media for much of Tuesday. Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer who was indicted and convicted of the death of George Floyd in May last year.
Within minutes of the verdict being announced, Twitter exploded with multiple hashtags that were quickly trending. These included #DerekChauvinTrial, #GUILTY, #SayHisName, #BlackLivesMatter, and #ThankYouGod. In addition, “Count 1”, “Accountability” and “ROT IN HELL” as well as “BAIL REVOKED” were also in trend after the announcement of the verdict.
Within minutes, each of the hashtags had tens of thousands of tweets in which users expressed their feelings that justice had indeed served. Much of the media went a little further than just covering the news.
CBS news reporter / producer JC Whittington (@JCWhittington_) wrote, “Chauvin has the potential for up to 40 years in prison. Straight to jail, no bail.”
“Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. THANK GOD, he’s going to rot in hell. Now we need justice for Breonna Taylor,” offered multimedia journalist David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt).
Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Sewell Chan (@sewellchan) summed up the verdict: “Guilty in all respects of bail revoked, Officer Derek Chauvin was handcuffed and referred back to the Hennepin County Sheriff for the Condemnation of waiting for the most momentous attempts in modern US history. “
Justice for George
It was clear that the majority of the dispatchers not only agreed with the verdict, but were even happy.
“‘Bail revoked and remanded’ Such fine words. #GUILTY,” wrote Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab (@saragoldrickrab), Professor of Sociology and Medicine.
Many also took out their frustration by mocking the former police officer. A number of memes were trending on Tuesday alongside “ROT IN HELL”, some of them with the added hashtag #ripbozo.
RED IN LIGHT had more than 70,000 tweets within the hour of reading the judgment, while there were nearly 35,000 tweets praising Darnella Fraizer, the young woman who filmed the incident that led to the death of George Floyd last May.
All about accountability
There have also been many on social media discussing “accountability” in relation to major calls for police accountability not only for the death of Floyd but for other colored people by police across the country in recent years were made available.
Many politicians, not even from Minnesota, took the time to share their thoughts on the matter.
New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker (@SenBooker) wrote, “Justice is served. Accountability for the murder of George Floyd is important and necessary. But it is not enough – we have yet to fix this deeply broken system. Think today I to George Floyd’s family, his daughter and loved ones continue to mourn this indescribable loss. “
“Justice is that George Floyd is still alive today. But today’s verdict is a small step towards accountability. I hope it brings some peace to George Floyd’s family. #BlackLivesMatter, today and always,” suggested Rep. Brenda Lawrence (@RepLawrence). , (D-Me.)
Rep. Chuy Garcia (@RepChuyGarcia) (D-Illinois) wrote, “The trial of Derek Chauvin was never about justice, it was about accountability. Today’s verdict is proof that no one is above the law. We can and MUST pursue acts of violence by the US. ” Cops. George Floyd should be alive today. For George and many others, the fight continues. “
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) added, “The judgments announced today were a powerful statement of accountability. While I am grateful that the jury returned this judgment, accountability is not the same as justice. Our job Now is the time to channel this moment to bring about real, positive, and long overdue change. “
Of course, in the case of Cuomo, he would have wished he hadn’t replied as many as he had pushed back the embattled governor.
Crime and Punishment
Also trending on Tuesday was the question of the maximum sentence chauvin could face, and apparently many believed that his eventual punishment might not match the crime.
“Here’s the problem: he can shorten any of these sentences with good manners. This is not a lifelong sentence so it will come out at some point. I think this is a false win,” @RazzberryBaz wrote.
That sentiment was shared by MSNBC’s Chris Jansing (@ChrisJansing): “Bail is revoked. Chauvin will be sentenced in 8 weeks. Those who loved George Floyd still have life imprisonment without being him.”
Rare sign of social media unity
Few expressed their displeasure with the verdict on social media Tuesday afternoon.
“There are a few issues at play with the responses to the verdict on social media,” said Charles King, technology industry analyst at Pund-IT. “First and foremost, the evidence against Chauvin, especially the video of him murdering George Floyd, was simply overwhelming. Chauvin’s unconcerned attitude towards Floyd’s condition also indicated that his actions were racially motivated or motivated.
“In other words, Chauvin was caught displaying the kind of behavior you’d expect from a vicious thug, not a sworn lawyer,” added King. “So it’s not surprising that even voices that might offer chauvinistic support under other circumstances are pretty muffled. At least in public.”
And this could be a sign that the country might move on to the issue of police accountability, and based on the responses on social media, law enforcement and lawmakers are likely to take this seriously.
“This was a transformative moment in American culture,” said Dr. Matthew J. Schmidt, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Haven.
“It is the beginning of real change in our country – this was the first time an entire country has waited to hear the verdict of a white police officer accused of killing a black man,” added Schmidt. “It’s important to take into account that for the past 200 years it has always been a black man who has been rightly or wrongly accused. We have waited for these judgments and now they have been changed. We have seen the community come together. It’s really about the story. “
Even other recent events have usually had two sides on social media – where two sides grappled with their own lines of battle, but that was not the case in Tuesday’s ruling. While there are likely some who feel that the officer acted accordingly and agreed to the defense, they certainly did not opt for social media.
Perhaps it was that they were so easily outnumbered, but Dr. Schmidt saw it differently. “It’s because the culture has changed.”