Any other verdict would have seen America burn.
The global eruption of anger when George Floyd perished under the knee of Derek Chauvin on May 25 last year would have seemed tame by comparison.
Especially when you factor in the deaths and serious injuries before and since at the hands of police on the other side of the Atlantic: Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, Daunte Wright, Andre Hill, Rayshard Brooks and Kurt Reinhold (a 42-year-old black man killed after being stopped for jaywalking).
So often the lack of accountability has been breathtaking.
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The officer who shot Blake seven times in the back, paralysing him, last year, returned to work last week after being exonerated.
No wonder Americans – both black and white – are angry.
The attempt to put Floyd and his actions on trial was reprehensible, as was the bid to focus on the angry, explosive conduct of the helpless bystanders.
Justice had to be served and we can breathe a sigh of relief that it was, on this occasion.
But there is still far more work to do to address the institutional lack of regard for black lives stateside.