Earlier today, former Minneapolis Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd – just as Stephen Colbert was preparing to record The late show.
Subsequently, the late night host shifted gears to follow through on the verdict. “After 10 hours of deliberation, a Minneapolis jury decided it was illegal for the police to murder people, that black lives mattered,” said the host. “It’s hard to celebrate because a man is still dead, but there is a sense of relief that this injustice at least was not compounded by indifference.”
As Colbert noted, the trial could easily have gone the other way, despite the fact that Floyd’s murder was filmed. “No matter what you saw on that tape, this nation doesn’t have a great track record on it,” the host said, referring to court cases involving the murder of blacks by police officers. “But at least in this case, this man faces responsibility.”
Yet, he said, “justice is a much more difficult goal.”
“The verdict does not change the fact that America has ‘a problem of over-policing and systematic racism,’ he continued. “But I hope this is a step towards a future where police accountability for their actions does not make the headlines, and the hope that accountability today is a deterrent tomorrow.”
As Colbert noted, today was just the last stop on a journey that began in May 2020, leading to nationwide protests calling for police accountability. “But it’s just a stop,” he added. “There is still work to be done, and it is work that we should all commit to because, as Ben Crump, the lawyer for the Floyd family reminded us today, Justice for America black is justice for all of America.
Check out Colbert’s message to the nation above.