I'm at a writer's retreat Wednesday in Ōhope Beach when I hear the news: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of the death of George Floyd.
"I heard you yell in the shower," says my roommate.
I hadn't slipped. Instead, I let out a whoop of relief and surprise that finally an American police officer had been held accountable for the murder of an unarmed Black man.
I heard a Black American politician say it was not total justice, because justice would mean Floyd was still alive. The verdict might have delivered a slice of racial equity, but it cannot resurrect a dead man.
The decision is still a step in the right direction.
Guilty on all counts - second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The fact that many of us see the jury's decision as a victory is testament to the brokenness of the American system of policing and justice.
Apparently, there's no mistaking what happened on the now-infamous video.
I have watched only a short clip of Floyd's murder, unwilling to witness a cruel death I can't unsee.
But expert witnesses and the jury said Chauvin's actions were more than excessive - they were criminal.
Chauvin ignited one of the largest civil rights uprisings in American history by kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.
He and other officers had pursued Floyd because he had allegedly used a counterfeit bill to purchase a pack of cigarettes.
The case was reminiscent of the death of Eric Garner in New York City six years ago. Back then, Garner uttered the same words to officers restraining him as Floyd: "I can't breathe."
But in Garner's case, none of the officers who pinned him on a footpath and placed him in a chokehold ever faced criminal charges.
Just 20 minutes before the guilty verdict was announced, a 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio, was shot and killed by police.
Police body cam video shows Ma'Khia Bryant charging a woman with a knife before she was shot by an officer.
Earlier this month, Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police about 10 miles from Minneapolis.
The New York Times reported graphic body camera footage showing one officer pointing a handgun at Wright and shouting "Taser".
After the car pulls away, the officer yells an obscenity and says, "I just shot him" to two other officers.
We can only wonder if the officer, Kim Potter, who has resigned from the force, will be convicted of second-degree manslaughter as charged.
The list of black victims of police gun violence in the US keeps growing.
Along with Garner and Wright, there's Breonna Taylor, age 26; Michael Brown, 18; Tamir Rice, 12, ... These are just some of the names on protesters' lips.
No officers were held accountable for Taylor's death. The officer in Brown's case was cleared of wrongdoing.
Officers responsible for Rice's death were never criminally charged. Many well-known cases of police violence in America never make it to trial.
The killings are a cautionary tale for the rest of the world. Each one offers a warning about what can happen when people with power use deadly force, despite having non-lethal options like Tasers.
Aotearoa doesn't face the level of horrors plaguing America, where police carry guns and civil rights leaders say systemic racism permeates cop culture.
But we still face serious issues relating to policing, use of force and race. Societal racism lives here, too.
NZME reported last month the 2019 Tactical Options Report from police revealed that on a per capita basis Māori were 7.2 times more likely than Pākehā to be on the receiving end of force including OC (pepper) spray, Taser and firearms.
Of 1800 events using restraints in the past five years, data show 876 involved Māori. This compared to 688 Europeans, 181 Pasifika and 19 Asians.
Leaders in Counties Manukau, where most tactical pain incidents occur, warn the practice will damage the community's wellbeing and its relationship with police.
Police say they don't use pain compliance based on ethnicity, and overall it is used on Māori at a similar rate to Europeans.
The Police Association attributes it to over-representation of Māori in crime statistics.
Is there an equity problem related to law enforcement? Do we need more analysis? More training?
These questions require soul searching and action. The police have a job that has grown in scope and difficulty.
They must still treat suspects within the law, no matter the colour of their skin.
Will the verdict in the George Floyd case lead to real change in America? Are we inching closer to a world where Black Lives Matter?
These aren't just questions for Americans - they're questions for us all.