COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Bishop Timothy Clarke, like many others, intently watched the reading of the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin, Tuesday.
“What Dr. King said, ‘the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice,’ we’ve seen that today, but we have so much work to do from here on out,” says Clarke.
The past three weeks of the trial have been difficult for him to watch. The verdict, he says, sends a signal.
“We want our police to do their job they are sworn to do. Two things: Serve and protect. We want them to do that, but we don’t want them to have a blank check to murder at whim and will. The verdict says very clearly juries now don’t have to feel as if they are being unfair to the police when they say, what you did is wrong. That’s the most powerful statement.”
In the last six months, Clarke has attended two funerals for Black men here in Columbus: Casey Goodson Jr. and Andre’ Hill.
He says the moment is one he wants his grandson to take in.
I hope people will sit down with their children and grandchildren today to say, ‘See, your life does matter. You don’t have to live with a target on your back and nothing never happen.’ That’s what is important about this moment.”
The message he hopes every officer receives is to be more sensitive and to be more mindful of their actions.
“Now, I think they know this could turn out bad for someone other than this person under my knee, this could turn out bad for me.”
Clarke says there’s still much work to do, and this is not a moment to celebrate, but rather, to reflect.