Chauvin’s conviction: A threefold crushing

By Carole Norris Greene  | News Service

Never underestimate evil. It has a way of coming back, of reinventing itself, of absorbing into itself anything that feeds into it.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was indeed found guilty on all three charges against him in the killing of George Floyd in 2020. He is in a maximum security prison. People around the world expressed great relief at his conviction.

Prosecutors were successful in persuading jurors to do one simple thing: “Believe your eyes” as you consider those nine minutes and 29 seconds of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck, killing him.

The added horror is that, according to one medical examiner, Floyd was already dead for three minutes before Chauvin removed his knee.

By Carole Norris Greene

In the wake of Chauvin’s conviction, I have a sense of watching one of those Godzilla movies. An army of puny humans is against the giant legendary monster. But after cataclysmic destruction, they blast Godzilla. He goes down into the depths of the sea, never to be seen again. Or so they cheer.

Godzilla is incarcerated in the sea, but is that truly the end? Did he have a mate? Is there a nest biding its time?

And isn’t it baffling how the fickle masses actually miss Godzilla after a while? Movies are concocted about his return and defeat of an enemy more feared than he was.

You can bet your bottom dollar Chauvin has his sympathizers, people who refuse to see that what he did was immoral, a fatal abuse of authority.

I’m not talking about his family members and close friends who are heartbroken about his disgrace. They will do what they can to help make his life bearable.

And they should.

Such a corporal work of mercy even in a case where mercy was not shown could lead to a conversion of heart more critical than conviction.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is seen near a picture of George Floyd in this courtroom sketch from a video feed March 29, 2021. (CNS photo/Jane Rosenberg, Reuters)

I am talking about the exercise of options still available to overturn demands for the accountability of law enforcement.

Someone will still try to convince us that the emperor is wearing clothes when videos show clearly the truth of his nakedness.

I do not race to write a column every time there is a notable police killing. The message I underscored in 2014 following the killing of an unarmed black youth in Ferguson, Missouri, still stands true today.

I referred to a passage from Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear’s fictional book “The Broken Land.” It is about the turbulent history of the Iroquois.

They wrote: “Two men rise from their cook fire. … Deerbone stilettos, war axes and clubs bristle on their belts. Every man carries in his bosom the idea of the knife and axe. How can he even think of peace when the thrill of victory beckons?”

In the United States today, it doesn’t seem to matter where such thrills of victory can occur. They could be at a traffic stop, outside a market or on a street where someone doesn’t seem to belong.

Couple the carrying of life-threatening weapons with pride that takes offense at the slightest form of resistance and you have a situation ripe for monstrous results.

People are calling Chauvin’s conviction a critical step along the road to justice. But the battle for justice is something humans cannot win alone.

This fight is also spiritual and against an ancient, restless evil that is always behind the commission of crimes against humanity.

Of course, congratulate those who successfully prosecute people who do evil. But do not praise them.

That praise belongs to Christ.

It was the Lord’s death on the cross that ultimately sealed the fate of satanic forces. Their victories are being turned against them, and on April 20, 2021, we got to see this happen threefold.

Greene was an associate editor in CNS’ special projects department for nearly 22 years.

Author: Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ news and information service.

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