The trial of Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd is nothing new to Gary Trent Jr.
He's watched from afar as time and time again White police officers are acquitted or lightly punished after violent and sometimes lethal altercations with Black men. This time, as a Minneapolis jury deliberates on the verdict, Trent is worried that things will be no different than too many times before.
"The main thing for me is I am scared," he said. "I’m scared nothing is going to happen again. I have been seeing it time after time after time to the point almost where it’s not even surprising no more. It’s a gut punch every time, another slap in the face every time and hopefully justice is served."
The NBA too is reportedly concerned about the verdict of the trial and what may happen afterward, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday. A league memo was reportedly sent out instructing teams to be prepared for possible game postponements.
Within the Raptors, there haven't yet been any intense conversations about what might happen after the verdict, Trent said, but people within the organization do periodically check in with players to make sure everything is OK.
The verdict of the trial will come almost a year after Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes while Floyd lay face down in handcuffs begging to breathe. The killing sparked mass protests across the United States and around the world and led in part to the NBA player's decision to strike on August 26, 2020, after the shooting of Jacob Blake by a White police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The NBA already postponed one game last week between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets after an unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, was shot by police during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.