About This Mini-Lesson
On April 20, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter. Almost a year before, while on duty, Chauvin killed George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes. George Floyd’s death sparked massive protests across the United States—and around the world. Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s trial amplified the demands for justice and healing in response to racial bias in policing, the disproportionate use of excessive force against Black Americans, and more broadly, the history of racial injustice in the United States.
This Mini-Lesson is designed to help guide an initial class discussion on the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial. The activities below prompt students to explore the complicated concepts of justice, accountability, and healing, while supporting them to process their feelings before engaging in a deeper study of policing and the legacy of racial injustice.