Today, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the murder of George Floyd, a case in which the evidence—including video evidence—was clear and overwhelming. Today’s conviction was essential to ensure individual accountability for the murder of George Floyd; however, the murders of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo in the last two weeks are tragic evidence that the systemic nature of this problem has yet to be addressed.
As we await Chauvin’s sentencing, we are reminded that George Floyd will never get his life back, and that Chauvin’s conviction—on its own—will not address the systemic racism embedded in policing in this country. We also recognize that the verdict does not erase the trauma of the Floyd family, which they have been forced to relive in great detail over the course of this trial, nor does it erase the trauma inflicted on Floyd’s community, those who witnessed his murder, and Black people across the country.
Over the last year, young people—led by young Black and Brown Americans—have taken to the streets to demand an end to systemic racism. That work does not end today. We need a broader reckoning now around the role that white supremacy and systemic racism play in policing, and we need policymakers with the political will to end this centuries-long injustice.
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