Earlier today, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd—just as Stephen Colbert was gearing up to tape The Late Show.
Subsequently, the late-night host shifted gears to address the verdict. “After 10 hours of deliberation, a jury in Minneapolis decided that it’s illegal for the police to murder people, that Black lives matter,” the host explained. “It’s hard to celebrate because a man is still dead, but there is a sense of relief that at least this one injustice was not compounded with indifference.”
As Colbert noted, the trial could have easily gone the other way, despite the fact that the killing of Floyd was captured on camera. “No matter what you saw on that tape, this nation does not have a great track record on this subject,” the host said, referring to court cases involving the killing of Black people by police officers. “But at least in this case, this man faces accountability.”
Still, he said, “justice is a far more difficult goal.”
“The verdict doesn’t change the fact that America has “a problem of over-policing and systematic racism,” he continued. “But hopefully, this is a step toward a future where police being held accountable for their actions isn’t headline material, and a hope that accountability today is a deterrent for tomorrow.”
As Colbert noted, today was just the latest stop on a journey that began in May of 2020, leading to nationwide protests calling for accountability amongst the police. “But this is just one stop,” he added. “There is more work to be done, and it’s work that all of us should be committed to because, as Ben Crump, the Floyd family lawyer reminded us today, justice for Black America is justice for all America.”
Check out Colbert’s message to the nation above.
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