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April 21, 2021

George Floyd’s Family Vows to ‘Keep Fighting’ for Just Policing After Chauvin Verdict

Ask students: Who was convicted today, and who made the decision to convict? What are some of the systemic problems with policing the family identifies?


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Discussing the Chauvin Verdict with Students

#11 News of 2021

Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions.A transcript of the video is available hereNote: Teachers may want to refer to this resource by Colorín Colorado about discussing community violence with your students.

After a Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd, President Joe Biden spoke with the Floyd family over the phone. While happy with the verdict, the family vowed to continue efforts towards bringing systemic change in policing.

  • Derek Chauvin was convicted on April 20 on three counts, including second-degree and third-degree murder.
  • Chauvin’s killing of George Floyd, which was caught on video, launched a spring and summer of protests against police violence and calls for reform as well as cutting budgets of police departments.
  • Floyd’s family and their attorney applauded the verdict but said that a conviction isn’t the end of the fight to change policing in the U.S.

Key Term

  • systemic change: change which affects how the whole system or institution (i.e. government, university, police, church, etc.) operates, with the goal of transforming the basic elements of the system itself

Discussion Questions: Highlighting the Need for Systemic Change

  • Who was convicted today, and who made the decision to convict?
  • Why do you think George Floyd’s family has vowed to continue to push for changes to policing in the U.S.?
  • What are some of the systemic problems with policing the family identifies?
  • How does Floyd’s family describe the importance of justice for their brother?
  • When and Where did this trial take place?

Focus Questions

  • What do you think are some important changes, either through new law or in some other way, to make sure people aren’t killed by police? 
  • Can you think of an example of systemic change that will address the problem of racism in the U.S.?

Media Literacy: Who else would you want to hear from about the verdict and what it means for the country?

Additional Resources: If time permits, you may also want to watch and discuss the following videos about Chauvin’s conviction:

Floyd’s Supporters Hope to See Systemic Change Emerge from Guilty Verdict in Chauvin Trial

How the Chauvin Verdict Could Become a ‘Sefining Moment’ for Future Policing

‘Sigh of relief:’ Saint Paul Mayor says Chauvin Verdict a Welcome Sign of Accountability

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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