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Sunburn — The Morning Read Of What’s Hot In Florida Politics — 4.21.21

(Image: APNews)

By Peter Schorsch

Guilty.

Guilty.

Guilty.

As the judge pronounced the jury’s verdict Tuesday, declaring that disgraced former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin murdered George Floyd, the hammer of justice sounded loudly on all three counts he faced.

The video of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes was damning enough. There was more, though. Throughout the ordeal, the smug, superior expression on Chauvin’s face told volumes about the disregard he had for Floyd’s life.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Image via AP.

This wasn’t a routine arrest over Floyd’s passing of a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin’s action that day was racism at its diabolical worst.

It occurs a day after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a so-called anti-riot law designed to crack heads of those who would protest the actions of a rogue cop like Chauvin. The new Florida law is designed to stifle protest by making the actions of a few violent protesters represent the many.

Peaceful bystanders can be caught up in the chaos of a protest that gets out of control. They could spend days in jail waiting for a bail hearing.

Is it any wonder that minorities believe this law, a priority of the Governor, is aimed at them?

Nonetheless, a jury of Chauvin’s peers in Minneapolis heard the evidence. They saw the video and listened to experts who debunked defense theories that sought to excuse the actions of a murderous bad cop.

Guilty.

Guilty.

Guilty.

That’s the sound of justice.

Joe Biden to America after George Floyd verdict: ‘We can’t stop here’” via Jonathan Lemire, Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo of The Associated Press — President Biden said Tuesday the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of Floyd “can be a giant step forward” for the nation in the fight against systemic racism. But he declared that “it’s not enough.” Biden spoke from the White House hours after the verdict alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, with the pair saying the country’s work is far from finished with the verdict. “We can’t stop here,” Biden declared.

‘An American court did right by an African-American man. For a change’” via Leonard Pitts, Jr. of the Miami Herald — I sat there trying to remember how to breathe. I suspect I had that in common with people, particularly African-American people, all over the country. Didn’t we all hold our breath as we awaited the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin? Then that verdict was read. The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd and was promptly handcuffed and led off to jail. On television, people shouted and prayed, cranking their fists toward heaven. I just sat there, trying to remember how lungs are supposed to work.

‘Small victory in a very long battle’: Florida activists react to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict” via Samantha Gholar Weires of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune — The guilty verdict on all charges in the death of George Floyd sparked relief and a small feeling of victory for activists across Florida. The unanimous decision by the jury is being viewed as a sign of progress by many allies and activists alike around the Sunshine State. Community leaders, organizers and activists all spoke out immediately following the reading of the verdict with their initial thoughts. “We can taste justice in America today,” said Sarasota activist, mother and Black Lives Matter Manasota board member Sarah Parker. She called the verdict a “small victory in a very long battle” for racial and social justice.

—“‘Justice’: Florida political leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics

—”Orlando leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict: ‘Justice has prevailed’” via Grace Toohey of the Orlando Sentinel

—”In Palm Beach County, leaders ‘relieved but not celebratory’” via Wayne Washington of The Palm Beach Post

—”‘Justice has been done’: Tallahassee reacts to guilty verdict in murder of Floyd” via TaMaryn Waters of the Tallahassee Democrat

—”‘Guilty!’ Derek Chauvin verdict brings tears, renewed call for justice to Tampa Bay” via Kavitha Surana, Christopher Spata and Kathryn Varn of the Tampa Bay Times

—”Black activists in Tampa Bay relieved by verdict, say more work is needed” via Kerry Sheridan and Steve Newborn of WUSF

Shevrin Jones blasts Anthony Sabatini comments on Chauvin verdict — Sen. Jones, who is Black, suggested Rep. Sabatini is a White supremacist after Sabatini said in a tweet the Chauvin verdict was “mob justice.” As reported by Gary Fineout of POLITICO Florida, Jones tweeted that “White supremacists in 2021 wear suits and sit in the Florida legislature. Yep, I said it.” He later told POLITICO that Sabatini is “out of control” and that he hoped that the House would censure him for his comments. When asked about Jones’ comments, Sabatini said, “Wokeism is a mental disorder, and his disgusting comments demonstrate that.”

Meanwhile … “Columbus Police fatally shoot black teen who called them for help, aunt says” via Blake Montgomery and Chris Bournea of the Daily Beast — A Columbus police officer shot and killed a Black teenage girl on Tuesday afternoon just as a guilty verdict was being handed down in the Chauvin murder case, a family member said. The shooting victim has not been officially identified, but was named as 15-year-old Makiyah Bryant by a relative early Tuesday evening. “She was a good kid. She was loving,” Hazel Bryant, who said the child was her niece, said. “The police are going to lie. I’m so thankful that someone from the family was actually on the scene,” Bryant said.

FloridaPolitics, excerpt posted on  SouthFloridaReporter.comApril 21, 2021