Today’s verdict is a powerful reminder that no one is above the law. A jury of Mr. Chauvin’s peers validated the life experience of all of us who attempt to survive our Blackness each and every day. We know this verdict doesn’t ease the pain felt by those who continue to mourn George Floyd’s life and we know it will not erase the horrific video of his murder that sparked a global uprising to end police brutality and reimagine public safety. However, this is the only acceptable verdict for justice and healing. Black Lives Matter and this verdict sends an important message that law enforcement officers must be held accountable when they murder people in our communities.
This is one step in a process to heal our country from the deep pain and trauma that so many of us have felt after watching Derek Chauvin kneel on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This pain is compounded by the fact that Black people continue to die at the hands of law enforcement and many families fear the continued physical manifestation of systemic racism. Our country has constructed a mass incarceration system where Black and Brown people are overpoliced and disproportionately killed by law enforcement officers. In LA County alone, over 800 Black and Latinx people have been murdered by law enforcement since the year 2000.
Our humanity suffers when life is unjustly taken. Public safety that truly serves to protect all of us despite our differences is necessary for our communities to thrive. Our communities in LA County are calling for family support, transparency, and accountability. Today let us honor George Floyd’s life by supporting survivors of police violence, continuing efforts to ensure officers are held accountable for loss of precious life, and investing in care, not cages, for our communities.