‘Sets a precedent for accountability’: Local experts discuss impacts from the Chauvin trial

Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts in relation to the death of George Floyd

ROANOKE, Va. – The trial and outcome of the murder of George Floyd by former police officer Derek Chauvin could impact future cases in Virginia and across the country.

Stewart Harris is a constitutional law expert and college professor in Tennessee. He said it parties in future cases may look upon this one for guidance.

“I think it probably will make prosecutors more inclined to take such cases seriously and prosecute them aggressively,” Harris said.

The trial revolved heavily around whether Chauvin acted in a reasonable or unreasonable manner. While police reports tell one story, Harris said the eyewitness video was critical evidence.

“An ounce of facts is worth a pound of law, and that’s really what happened here, that some very brave and persistent people pulled out their cameras,” Harris said.

While the case began and ended in Minneapolis, many considered it to be a measuring stick for justice in the United States as a whole.

Attorney General Mark Herring praised prosecutors for “standing up for what is right.”

“We need to acknowledge that for far too long we’ve had really two criminal justice systems in this country, one for white Americans and one for Black Americans and people of color and that has to change,” Herring said.


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