Oregon is Seeing Repercussions from the Tragic Murder of George Floyd
More than 15 months have passed since George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. Mr Floyd was ruthlessly murdered by former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who has since been convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Mr. Floyd’s death has not only shaken the United States but the whole world, as Mr. Floyd’s murder was videotaped and circulated across the internet. Portland citizens quickly took to participating in anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests that lasted over 100 nights.
Oregon has shown massive actions of change through such protests, and law enforcement as a whole is becoming much more informed and educated on how to treat citizens properly. Despite there still being cases of racism that remains unchanged, the current acts of reform within the community are important to note.
Though many reforms have been proposed to combat racial inequity within our legal system, many of these proposals have been placed on a waitlist, preventing any quick improvement. Many lawsuits during these months of heavy protests have also revealed the reality of law enforcement’s severe use of force against citizens that are seeking no harm. These violations stirred many to take action, as these protests’ main objective was to fight back against systemic racism and police brutality across the country.
Some positive outcomes that have blossomed from these protests and this time of grief consist of a broad variety of legal reforms. Multnomah County elected reformer Mike Schmidt as its new DA, and new policies have been implemented by the Portland Police Bureau. We have also seen statewide sentencing reforms and new opportunities for people to accomplish expungement of past convictions and reduce the severity of criminal convictions to make expungement possible.
George Floyd’s name will not be forgotten, nor will the unforgivable actions of police officers that have wrongfully taken lives while on duty. There are still major issues within our legal system that remain to be addressed, as well as many cases of systemic racism that still go under the radar.
For there to be further reform, actively listening and voicing concern for those who are victims of injustice is essential for the future of our community, as well as the rest of the country.