Convicted ex-cop Derek Chauvin seemed genuinely stunned to learn he actually will be held responsible for the murder of a Black man

Protesters hold their fists in the air at a rally in downtown Minneapolis near the courthouse calling for justice for George Floyd after closing arguments in the Chauvin trial on April 19, 2021. Photo: Getty Images

For an instant, Black America and Derek Chauvin aligned in a singular emotion: disbelief. It flashed in Chauvin’s eyes just as the weight of decades of unjust acquittals was shifted from our shoulders onto the murderer’s, where it had always belonged. The convicted killer cop couldn’t conceive that a jury would dare hold him accountable.

Neither could many of us.

Chauvin will now wait eight weeks for sentencing but relief was much briefer. The verdict hadn’t even been read before a Columbus, Ohio, cop killed Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl, in front of her own house. Police said…


The Reed Report

This is a simple fix for the police and yet, here we are again

Photo: LWA/Getty Images

There aren’t adequate words for those who use their privilege to harm children. Even in an era as divisive as the present, the part of our social contract that dictates almost universal disdain for abusers of children remains intact. I say almost, because exceptions are too often granted to those who wear badges, as we learned most acutely in the aftermath of 12-year-old Tamir Rice’s 2014 murder in a snowy Cleveland park.

We don’t know the name of the nine-year-old girl assaulted with pepper spray by Rochester, N.Y., cops last weekend. We may never know. As a journalist, I’m writing…


The Reed Report

Dismantling injustice is a marathon, not a sprint

Outgoing president Donald Trump addressing guests from a podium on Jan. 20, 2021.
Outgoing president Donald Trump addressing guests from a podium on Jan. 20, 2021.
Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

Six days into the presidency, Joe Biden made a promise unlike any previous U.S. head of state: Under his administration, every branch of the federal government would work toward achieving racial equity in the country.

Now we all know that promises made don’t always equal promises kept. But even presidents like John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Barack Obama — whom history has granted kind legacies on race — never explicitly tasked the entire U.S. government with chipping away at systemic racism.

It’s four years too soon to measure the Biden administration’s progress toward undoing centuries of racial inequity, but as…


The Reed Report

The racial arrest disparity between insurrection vs. George Floyd is not shocking and is more par for the racist course

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/Getty Images

I intended to use this space to be profound about the police response to last week’s attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol. That won’t happen. As extraordinary as the January 6 insurrection was, the fact that law enforcement responded with disproportionately underwhelming force compared with its response to Black protesters is, well, regular.

Consider:

It’s taken almost two weeks for federal authorities to round up and charge about 100 people in connection with the insurrection. That number will grow, since most of the geniuses who participated whipped out their phones and treated storming the U.S. Capitol like they were making…


It’s been time for her to go for a long time

Georgia’s former senator Kelly Loeffler
Georgia’s former senator Kelly Loeffler
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty

The WNBA must dispose of Kelly Loeffler. Now.

If you’ve been hiding the past few months, Loeffler is Georgia’s soon-to-be former U.S. senator who just lost her seat in historic fashion to Rev. Raphael Warnock, making him the first Black Democrat elected to represent a Southern state and making her, by contrast, the first White person to lose such a perch to a Black man. She’s also a 49% owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. Loeffler’s election loss has nothing to do with why the WNBA must purge itself of her and whatever influence she’ll have left after January 20…


The Reed Report

Supporters of President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

If the flimsy myths propping up Trumpism were pillars, the one that fell the hardest in today’s riot at the U.S. Capitol was that of the “law and order” presidency. In defiance of both logic and the president’s rhetoric, thousands of his supporters ran lawless and unchecked into the Rotunda, congressional offices, and both chambers, causing damage, physically attacking both D.C. and federal officers, and interrupting the peaceful transfer of power. A woman was shot and killed.

It was as close as the country has come to violent insurrection since the Civil War and was met with a shrug from…


Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri deserved better from law enforcement

Masai Ujiri, president of the Toronto Raptors. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

An underplayed aspect of police brutality is the largely ignored fact that some cops lie. It’s not just the systemic violence, but the casual and pervasive dishonesty behind the badge that further degrades the victims. Timothy Loehmann killed 12 year-old Tamir Rice in a Cleveland park two seconds after pulling up on him, then lied and said he had warned Rice three times before pulling the trigger. Michael Slager killed Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, and then lied and said Scott had stolen his taser. …


Mackenzie Scott’s $1.7 billion donations are appreciated by those who received, but what about the 100+ universities that didn’t?

Howard University’s commencement ceremony on May 12, 2018. Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Nuance is lost on Twitter, so of course, MacKenzie Scott’s $140 million donations to six historically Black colleges split the social platform into factions. On one side, grads and supporters of Howard, Hampton, Morehouse, Spelman, Tuskegee, and Xavier universities, the HBCUs getting windfalls out of Scott’s overall $1.7 billion in charitable donations, rightfully celebrate the gifts and reject criticism that the cash wasn’t spread around enough. …


An ownership change should be next

Dan Snyder, the current owner of Washington’s NFL team. Photo: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

You could write a comic history of Washington, D.C., by listing things that didn’t outlive the name of the city’s NFL franchise. The racist epithet survived the removed-on-Juneteenth statue of team founder George Preston Marshall, who was the reason one of America’s Blackest cities was the last to integrate its NFL team. It outlasted the political career of former mayor Marion Barry, the life of go-go legend Chuck Brown, even D.C.’s status as a majority-Black city. Until about a week ago, it seemed the only D.C.-related …


I almost wanted to be mad at Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, for questioning the blackness of undecided black voters in an interview on The Breakfast Club. Biden’s known for misspeaking, but this was especially ballsy for a guy who rode Barack Obama’s wave to the vice presidency. Biden needs black voters to be president, and I expect anybody who needs me to be on their best behavior in my house, even if the need is mutual. But I just can’t bring myself to anger. Not over this:

“If you have a problem figuring out if…

Keith Reed

Keith Reed is a writer, commentator & former ESPN the Magazine editor, whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Vibe, Essence, CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store