Thursday, April 22, 2021

Accountability, Not Justice


It has taken me a while to post about this, and honestly I still don't know if I have the right words. What I can tell you is that Tuesday's verdict was groundbreaking, while also heartbreaking. It does not bring George Floyd back to his family and friends, but it does give me hope that when we inevitably have to do this again (such as in the case of Daunte Wright), it will be possible for murderers to be held accountable for their actions.

I was with students all afternoon and in that 30-second slice of time between one group leaving and the next group arriving, I received a text from a friend saying the verdict was going to be read between 3:30 and 4. My last group was from 3:30-4, and 4 is when I have to be outside for bus duty. No worries though, because I was not the only teacher carrying her phone outside to try and hear the verdict. One of my good friends walked by my bus, her eyes wide, saying she could not quite hear but she thought it was guilty on all three counts. As soon as my bus was loaded, I ran over to where she was talking with another teacher. She confirmed guilty on all three counts and, I kid you not, I pretty much jumped on her and we hugged - but briefly because COVID is still a thing.

I received so many text messages confirming the verdict, it was hard to keep up. I left school to pick up Eleanor from her BFF's house and CNN was on, showing the scene outside the Hennepin County Courthouse. Had we been home (our true home IS Minnesota), you can be damn sure Eleanor and I would have been there to celebrate the fact that finally, finally, someone has been held accountable for their actions.

This does not mean the fight is over. There is still an entire system to dismantle and rebuild. But this is another first step in a long line of first steps taken since May 25th, 2020. I have faith that we can succeed and will do whatever I can in order to help bring about this change our country so desperately needs.

What will you do?


  1. Very well put! I don't envy you having to try to navigate your own thoughts and emotions around this while also being there for your kids. This past week was my final week working from home, so I opened up a virtual room for my team to come together and watch the verdict being read and talk about it with each other. We still have so much work to do, but it is promising to have these small moments of accountability.

    1. It was very hard to focus. I tried to keep in mind that it would probably be closer to four because of all the stuff that would be said before the actual verdict, but even so I kept an eye on my phone because I knew I would get a barrage of texts no matter what the verdict was.

      I appreciate that you did that for your team. What were the reactions you saw as you watched?

      I hope that with this verdict, and so many more cases unfortunately coming down the line, that we can continue to seek accountability for these murders and that those who would commit them and hide behind a shield no longer have the option to do so.


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