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On May 25, 2020—exactly one year ago, today—George Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. After a highly publicized trial that was deeply traumatic for witnesses, Floyd’s family and Black Americans across the country, Chauvin was found guilty of all charges and is currently awaiting sentencing.  

Over the past year, Floyd’s murder has served as a catalyst for mass protests against systemic racism and police brutality—many of which were organized and led by young people. While this sustained action has been critical for spreading awareness of the systemic racism in policing that led to Floyd’s murder, we have yet to see federal policymakers act on the systemic solutions that are needed to address the root causes of this issue. 

No measure of accountability or legislative action will give life back to George Floyd or countless others murdered by police, and it is important to acknowledge and reflect upon how the system has failed these victims, their families, and communities of color—particularly Black people. However, to put an end to this cycle, our elected leaders must honor this moment not just with reflection, but with action. George Floyd’s family has asked that this bill bearing his name, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, be passed. The House of Representatives has already passed the bill, but the Senate minority continues to obstruct its progress. Still, this bill, like all individual bills or initiatives, is only one part of the larger solution required.

There is still so much to be done to end systemic racism in this country. This is a fight in which young people have driven progress, change, and reckoning over the past year, and we are committed to seeing it through. But it is exhausting and traumatic work that we cannot do alone. We demand our elected leaders listen to young people and communities of color and step up to the plate to protect lives with policy and legislation.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact eleach@americanprogress.org.

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