PHOENIX — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
On Tuesday, after centuries of disappointment, many African-Americans saw what they felt was justice as former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd and led away in handcuffs.
John Goodie is a Valley civil rights activist and he helped get the state of Arizona to recognize the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in the 1990s. Goodie’s reaction to Chauvin’s guilty verdict was one of elation and near incredulity.
“We threw justice up on the wall, and it stuck!” Goodie said the day after the verdict. “It’s 2021,” he shrugged. “Finally stuck.”
Goodie called the death of George Floyd “a barnyard lynching” and said he identified personally with Floyd. Both Floyd and Goodie are Black men from Houston.
“I know where he grew up. I know what school he went to. For me, it was personal,” Goodie said.
Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The second-degree murder charge alone could come with a 40-year sentence. Goodie believes that all police will now get the message that they cannot act with impunity.
“It is a message that needed to be sent a long time ago,” Goodie said.