May 18, 2021

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The guilty verdict in the George Floyd case resonates around the world

The guilty verdict in the George Floyd case resonates around the world

The guilty verdict on Tuesday against a former Minneapolis police officer for George Floyd’s death attracted global attention in a case that has thrown the international spotlight on the problem of police brutality in the United States and abroad.

Among the first world leaders to comment on the conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former policeman, was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tweeted that he was “shocked by George Floyd’s death and welcomes this verdict” .

Along with mass protests in the United States, Floyd’s killing sparked large-scale demonstrations in a number of British cities, including London and Birmingham.

The Floyd case has reinforced calls for an end to police brutality against minorities, particularly people of African and Arab descent, in England, France and elsewhere in Europe. Some European demonstrators hoisted signs declaring “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe”.

On Tuesday, news of Chauvin’s conviction was headline news across Europe: “Guilty by all accounts,” reads a headline in the British Daily Mail, under photos of Floyd and a handcuffed Chauvin taken away after the guilty verdict.

Much of the foreign press kept a close eye on the case and, in some cases, sent reporters to Minneapolis for the Chauvin trial. Many presented the trial as a key moment in the country’s turbulent history of race relations.

“It’s a day of joy outside the courtroom,” Oliver Beckmeier, a reporter for the German news station NTV, told the Minneapolis courthouse in a live report moments after the verdict was announced. “Many people here are hoping this will send a signal, that the situation will now start to change and these kinds of cases that occur again and again will be duly prosecuted.”

In Latin America, the Floyd case inevitably raised questions about regional incidents of police brutality and what critics have labeled the authorities’ constant inability to hold officers accountable for the abuses. The US case has become a kind of prism through which people in Latin America have seen local cases of police misconduct.

Many in Mexico cited the case of Victoria Salazar, a refugee from El Salvador who died last month in the resort town of Tulum after Mexican police held her face down in a street and an officer took herself. kneeling on his back – a heartbreaking scene that went viral on social media. Authorities said four officers were arrested; their cases are pending.

“Today there was justice for #GeorgeFloyd,” wrote one person on Twitter. “The question in Mexico is: will there be justice for #VictoriaSalazar?”

In Chile, many saw parallels between the US protest following Floyd’s death and the months of civil unrest that largely paralyzed the South American nation in 2019. Tuesday’s verdict in Minneapolis led to calls for greater accountability of the South American nation. police for official misconduct.

“It is hoped that the visibility of George Floyd’s murder will help prevent other crimes and promote far-reaching reforms,” ​​tweeted Alessia Injoque, head of the Equals Foundation, an LGBTQ rights group. “Police reform is still pending here in Chile.”

In Chile, journalist Patricio López tweeted, “George Floyd would be a Mapuche”, referring to an indigenous group that has been subjected to discrimination and police violence.

Floyd’s case also resonated deeply in Brazil, where many black residents say they face police harassment and brutality.

“Brazil is a country of thousands of victims like George Floyd,” tweeted Marcelo Freixo, a federal lawmaker in Rio de Janeiro. “Police violence is just … the most visible and brutal part of a system of structural racism.”

Tuesday’s verdict also affected some in Indonesia.

“I, as a black man who has always been a victim of colonial racism in Indonesia, [am] happy to hear that blacks in the US can have justice, “said Buchtar Tabuni, a West Papuan activist who was recently released from prison under pressure from an Indonesian Black Lives Matter-inspired protest movement.” Hopefully. that this verdict is the beginning of the change in systemic racism on a global level “.

Times staff writer McDonnell reported from Mexico City and special correspondent Kirschbaum from Berlin. Staff writer David Pierson in Singapore and special envoys Cecilia Sánchez in Mexico City, Andrés D’Alessandro in Buenos Aires and Jorge Poblete in Santiago, Chile, contributed to this report.