Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three separate charges — third degree murder, a second degree murder and manslaughter — on April 20, for the death of George Floyd.
Over a year ago, Floyd was killed by Chauvin during an arrest in late spring. Floyd laid on the ground, with Chauvin’s knee on his neck for nine and a half minutes while Floyd pleaded for mercy, repeatedly yelling “I can’t breathe.” This event had sparked outrage and protests not only across the United States, but worldwide. Cities such as Philadelphia, enforced strict curfews and had National Guard roaming the streets.
Fast forward to the present, Chauvin is now facing the consequences of his actions. As the Hennepin County District Court announced Chauvin’s guilty verdict, millions of Americans across the country rejoiced. Even more so, Drexel President John Fry released a letter to students, faculty, and the entire Drexel community regarding the court case before the day of the verdict.
In a message titled “Joining Together, Supporting One Another,” President Fry provides empathy to the Drexel community regarding both the Chauvin case, police brutality (more specifically, Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo), and the recent hate crimes targeted toward Asians and Asian-Americans.
“We know that many of you are feeling anger, impatience, and despair as we bear witness to continuing violence and injustice,” President Fry said in his letter to the community.
President Fry also urged the Drexel University community to sustain and even echo its efforts to care for each other in dire times such as now through collaboration and resilience. For example, he mentioned a panel called “Standing in Solidarity: A Frank Conversation About Anti-Asian Hate Crimes” that included over 190 members of the Drexel community engaging in discourse concerning the Asian and Asian-American community.
In the end, President Fry reiterated the importance of ending violence stemming from racism, and implied that the Drexel community must unite together to make an integral first step to promote peace within society.
“The tragedies of recent weeks further demonstrate the need for all of us to continually, collectively commit to ourselves to ending the threat of racist violence and building a country and community that lives up to its promise of racial justice and true equality for all,” President Fry wrote in his letter.