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Fear Of Being Pulled Over By Police Remains, Even After Jury Convicts Chauvin of Murder

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, a Minneapolis jury convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd in May 2020. The verdict, though, might not change how much stress and anxiety many Black people continue to feel, says a Miami psychiatrist.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, a jury in Minneapolis convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd in May of last year. The verdict, though, might not change how much stress and anxiety many Black people continue to feel, says a Miami psychiatrist.

Dr. Howard Pratt, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Community Health of South Florida in Miami, says the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict is a step, but that as a Black doctor, he’s concerned about how much stress and anxiety many of his Black patients continue to feel.

On Tuesday afternoon, after a Minnesota jury found ex-police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd, the verdict was praised with hope and jubilation.

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Dr. Howard Pratt, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Community Health of South Florida in Miami, says the verdict is a step, but that as a Black doctor, he’s concerned about how much stress and anxiety many of his Black patients continue to feel.

"The guilty verdict — I think the rest of the country outside of the Black community are more satisfied with it than Black people because it doesn't really change the fact that people are getting murdered," Pratt said. "George Floyd’s family and all of the other people who were murdered in these reckless events — they would rather have their families back, not a verdict. A verdict is very symbolic. So there are positives that there's an acknowledgment that this was wrong and a man did not need to die. But I don't see it changing a lot. This is something that my grandfather could have witnessed or my father or myself."

“There's this fear of being pulled over and no one is there. Those factors don't change at 5 o'clock when the verdict is read.”

"It’s good that we are talking about race and racism," Pratt continued. "I have several people that are afraid to go out at night or they don't want to drive at night because there's this fear of being pulled over and no one is there. And they may be a George Floyd, except there's no one there to record. Those things haven't changed. Things are getting better. But those factors don't change at five o'clock when the verdict is read. And that's that's a harsh reality."