This is only the start


Kara Barragan

The flag reading “BLACK JOY” was held in the crowd that waited for the verdict, which was filmed by CNN and aired on TV. This verdict was televised on several news sources on April 20.

May 25. 2020. Around nine minutes. George Floyd, a brother, a son and a father—all of this taken by a senseless murder. 

Floyd was a victim of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter by a Minneapolis policeman with furrowed brows and a blue tie: Derek Chauvin, found guilty on all charges on April 20. The verdict led hundreds of people, crowding on the street where Floyd’s body laid lifeless a year back, to cheer in relief and release when told of this verdict from the Minneapolis courtroom. As the jurors confirmed their individual decisions on the verdict, the news station CNN showed a frame of Chauvin’s distraught face handling the fact that his home will now be prison. Beside him was a separate frame of the united crowd of those who had witnessed first hand justice finally served. 

This murder symbolized an injustice at the hands of the government. This is the time where the United State’s eyes will open, to no longer bystand these inhumane acts of murder. It’s time that we all seek justice in these injustices that continue to target the beautiful humans of all creeds and colors who deserve freedom as they are promised in this country. 

And, most importantly, the time when we will begin the work in ending systemic racism.

The countless marches, protests, voices heard throughout this year in time when justice was not served to Floyd and all other humans that face police brutality. All of this hard work last summer took to bring us where we are today with the verdict of Chauvin. 

Those hours of sleep that Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd lost, as he recalled to CNN, can never be given back. Floyd’s entire family, their hearts torn and shredded from this murder done by Chauvin, can never be restored to the brim how they used to be when Floyd was alive, when he was a part of the lives of people who cared and loved for him.

A person he very much loved, Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Batya Ross, swiped her red bangs out of her eyes to wipe away her endless tears when waiting for this verdict. “Maybe we’re the epicenter of change,” she said in an interview, worried for the outcome. When told of the verdict, she hugged all those around her lost in tears. I felt a tear trickle down my cheek looking at her shared love with all of those around her. I wish I could know exactly how she felt in that moment, but her expressed love for those around her left me happy and relieved for all that had just occurred. 

This verdict is only the start. It is us the younger generation who will take it upon ourselves to seek and make change.”

— Kara Barragan

These humans, humans black and brown alongside Floyd who were murdered, their lives taken from them, senselessly. These murders can no longer be permitted. We, the younger generation, need to take a stand and not only document every injustice done to fellow humans, but share our voice like there’s no tomorrow. 

Us students at Bonita Vista High with a life ahead of us all, need to give human beings like Floyd the voices they lose to law enforcement. 

To all law enforcement: Do. Better. I think back to a week ago where one brisk morning, I sipped my coffee as I watched a video on Twitter from comedian, Trevor Noah. He asked his phone camera lens, “where are all the good apples?” in law enforcement.

And he’s really right in this metaphor. Accountability in the murder of Floyd was never apparent. It angers me that as a student journalist, I take accountability, since it’s my job, but these government workers chose not to speak up for Floyd, who had been tortured and murdered before their eyes. To those government workers, you should feel absolute shame in not stopping this murder and taking accountability for it.

I look up in disgust at the street from my house to an American flag being flown at the top of a hill. I see, in the red, the blood of our black and brown brothers and sisters, victims to systemic racism. I see, in the white, the supremacists that believe that all is to be done in their favor and that all others should be below them, stripped of their liberties and freedoms. And, in the blue, I see the “Blue Lives Matter” flags flying on the backs of cars and fronts of houses in places like Coronado. That American flag is one I will never respect—until this country changes. 

We students, a part of this generation, will reshape this world for the better. We will not allow these murders to be permitted by law enforcement. This system of law enforcement needs to be reformed entirely. Where’s the remorse, Chauvin? Police men and women continuing to work after this murder, will you learn your lesson?

When witnessing this verdict, the faces I saw in tears of relief became ingrained in my brain. I stand with the beautiful people in that crowd. I stand with the flag that members of the crowd held over their heads, the flag with bold lettering of “Black Lives Matter.” 

This verdict is only the start. It is us the younger generation who will take it upon ourselves to seek and make change. We will enact freedom that was taken away from people like Floyd. We will take accountability. We will do all that law enforcement workers like Chauvin didn’t do. And we will never, ever, make or let acts of murder like these happen ever again. 

Let’s work to change. Now.