JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tuesday marks one year since George Floyd died in Minnesota. After a former police officer was convicted of murder for kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, the call for criminal justice reform rippled across the country and even in the River City.
Those ripples reached criminal justice activist and former convicted felon Khalil Osiris, who had already been working to have his ideas on criminal justice reform heard.
He suggests a reconciliation among countrymen and women is needed.
“It requires that we actually engage each other that we recognize that there are some differences we have it actually won’t be bridged. At least not immediately. And we still have to live together with our shared humanity being the foundation for how we treat each other,” Osiris said.
Osiris further explains reconciliation could be achieved in steps beginning with, compassionate empathy, then courageous listening, painful conversation, social reckoning and spiritual reconciliation.
“The protest and the challenge to injustice is not going to go away. That’s not where we are anymore. We are in a new state globally, not just locally, around the world,” he said.
Osiris said the death of Black Americans and in particular, the death of George Floyd inspired what he calls the global movement. Osiris produced a new documentary, released on the exact date of Floyd’s death. It’s called “Social Reckoning, The New American Flag.”
The program includes 10 songs that focus on Floyd’s murder, which occurred while he was in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department and, more specifically, by the actions of former police officer Derek Chauvin.
“One of the rappers, Alfred Cleveland, my friend, and former cellmate served 25 years on a wrongful conviction. He was freed through the Innocence Project. They are examples of what happens when arrested and not murdered, you see. We’re focused on ‘George Floyd Can’t Breathe,’ but there are lots that are innocent lives and many more who are guilty but who are using their experience in prison to do good, to turn their lives around.”