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- ABC News Interviews Alford Young, Jr., on Chauvin Verdict
- A Look Back
- Archived Formats
Keenan Smith of WXYZ Channel 7 Action News, Detroit, spoke with Dr. Alford Young, Jr., in the early morning following the verdict for Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of all three charges against him in the killing of George Floyd.
Watch the interview here, or read the transcript below:
Keenan Smith (WXYZ): "And while some across the country breathe a sigh of relief following the verdict, others are focused on where we go from here. Joining us now to discuss this and the impact of the verdict is Alford Young, Jr., professor of sociology, Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan. Thank you so much for joining us this morning."
Alford Young, Jr.,: "Thank you for having me. Good morning."
WXYZ: "Alright let's jump right into the impact of this verdict–do you think that this verdict will affect relations between police and the communities they serve?"
Young: "Well I certainly hope it will. In some sense it will affect relations because everybody is aware that a pivotal moment occurred. Police officers are taking account of this, the public is taking account of this. For the first time in our history we can acknowledge that an officer has been found guilty of violating a Black body. So that will already change how police respond to the public and how the public respond to the police. I hope that people keep in mind, and certainly many African Americans have, many Americans have, is that this is in many ways the beginning. It may bring closure to the Floyd family in some ways, for the rest of us it is an opening. It's an opening of possibilities to think about how to build healthy relationships. And so the work is just beginning for the rest of us."
WXYZ: "And so where do we go from here? President Biden called the Chauvin verdict 'a step forward for racial justice.' What are the next steps for the community and for society as a whole?"
Young: "Conversation. Community-level conversations. It is important for police departments across America to engage the public about the fact that a wrong-doing occurred, about the fact that there's been suspicion and concern across the country. As we all know, the George Floyd case is not the only one. It may have been the one that was resolved in the way that many African Americans wanted, but this is a pattern of occurrences across the country and it's time to have conversations where police can be honest about what kinds of things have occurred, what kinds of tensions exist, but also be honest about the work that they're supposed to do. 'Protect and serve' is still of value, even for African Americans. And we acknowledge that and envision that, but we want to see police acknowledge that they are imperfect. Some are unjust. Opening up that conversation is a critical first step and I mean in communities and neighborhoods, those kind of conversations have to unfold."
WXYZ: "And that conversation will continue and we hope we can continue that conversation here on 7 Action News and that you'll be a part of that conversation with us. Professor Young, thank you so much for your time this morning."
Young: "Thank you for having me."