For former Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral, the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on three counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd is "a far cry from justice."
While Cabral said the verdict is just, she told Boston Public Radio on Wednesday that justice is a "much larger, much more historic and much more complicated thing."
After the relief of the guilty verdict washed over her, Cabral said she felt "frustrated and angry" that there was even a question of whether a jury would convict Chauvin based on the overwhelming evidence.
"This jury clearly rejected the defense [tactics painting Floyd as] the very scary Black man who, despite the fact of having no air in his lungs, could jump up at any moment and pose a threat to four police officers from a hancuffed, prone position," she said.
While Chauvin was the officer who physically restrained Floyd with a knee on his kneck for more than nine minutes, three other officers were involved in the deadly arrest. Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are expected to be tried this summer for their role in Floyd's death, according to The New York Times.
Cabral said these officers have to consider whether to try the same defense tactics used by Chauvin to deflect blame from law enforcement and paint Floyd as violent, or whether to claim that Chauvin was their superior officer and that they were following orders — placing the brunt of the blame on Chauvin alone and absolving them of responsibility.
"The one advantage they have is to say, 'Well, you already held [Chauvin] responsible. Let's put it all on him.'"
Cabral said the prosecution may highlight the responsibilities of each officer bestowed on them by the positions they hold, regardless of their rank and regardless of Chauvin's conviction.
"It doesn't matter that Chauvin has been convicted," she said. "They are each responsible, because each carries their own responsibility by virtue of that badge and that gun in their obligation to protect and serve all of the public — even people who are under arrest."