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  • The Narrative Project

Relief, but no celebration after Chauvin verdict

By Mercy A. Quaye

April 22, 2021

The word bittersweet was devised for verdicts like these.

I didn’t watch a minute of the Derek Chauvin trail. I couldn’t get invested in what would have been built up to seem like a sure-fire win, just to be let down and heartbroken. I remember vividly watching the George Zimmerman trial from my desk in the newsroom and thinking it was so obvious that these testimonies, these tears would yield a guilty verdict, just to be gutted when I was wrong.

I couldn’t do that this time.

So instead, I chose to preserve my wellness and catch the highlights after the fact. I guarded myself so that I wouldn’t be let down — so that my exhausted and belabored hope wouldn’t be given yet another reason to throw in the towel. As a result, I didn’t put much stock in whether Chauvin would be convicted. To me, that he would have been given any counsel other than to plead guilty when millions of people saw him drench the life out of another man is representative of the uphill ideological battle we have in the pursuit of racial justice[...]

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People rally outside the courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the guilty verdicts were announced in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

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Mercy A. Quaye is the founder and president of The Narrative Project, Connecticut’s only anti-racist public relations agency. She is a professor of digital journalism at Southern Connecticut State University, an alumna of Quinnipiac University, and a New Haven native.

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