Today, a jury in Hennepin County, Minnesota found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on three counts related to the 2020 death of George Floyd. Leading up to the verdict, a nation, indeed an entire world, watched with bated breath and nervous anticipation as the trial went forward. And those images. Those dreadful images of a man subdued, prone, dying—dead! —were played and replayed in the courtroom.
Though in one sense, there can really be no true justice for what happened to George Floyd, we can rest in the assurance that some form of justice has been served. It is our sincere hope and prayer that law enforcement officers everywhere will be reminded that they are dealing with real people. Behind every encounter is a real life that touches others and meets them in a common humanity. The judgment they mete out to their fellow citizens will be meted back out to them by God, the ultimate Judge and Ruler of all.
Minneapolis today resembles a fortified city. Fencing and razor wire. Tactical vehicles and a multitude of police and riot gear. A state of emergency had been called in the surrounding counties, as Governor Walz braced for more violence and rioting.
When the guilty verdict was finally announced, the crowd outside of the Court erupted in cheers, and a country on the brink of massive protests exhaled a collective sigh of relief.
Until the next time.
Unless the systemic issues that caused the untimely death of George Floyd are addressed, we will see more instances of inhumanity. More violent protesting. More pointing of fingers. More disclaimers and excuses.
The lessons to be learned from this tragic event are many. Most important among them is this truth: true justice and deliverance from oppression comes not through legislation and reform, but from the Lamb of God, who gave His life to deliver us from evil. It is only in embracing His salvation that lasting change and peace can be found.
Only He can fix the problems of society. Only the church which He founded can point the way to Him. And as the church, we make a plea for people everywhere to unite with us in Jesus Christ, the Truth, the Life, and the Way.