Statements on The George Floyd Verdict
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Executive Leadership Council Statement on George Floyd Murder Verdict
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Executive Leadership Council has released the following statement today in response to the verdict in the George Floyd murder trial.
The brutal killing of George Floyd exemplifies the wholesale reform of criminal justice that is still needed in society.
"The brutal killing of George Floyd will stand as a glaring example of the wholesale reform of criminal justice and full inclusion that is still needed in all aspects of society. The Executive Leadership Council and our entire membership community stand in solidarity with the Floyd family, and all families whose loved ones have been senselessly killed, along with citizens around the world, in working constructively towards a more just society where everyone is treated the same regardless of their skin color."
Michael C. Hyter, President and CEO, The Executive Leadership Council
Statement on the Verdict of the Derek Chauvin Case on the Murder of George Floyd- National Civil Rights Museum
The verdict is in. Derek Chavin is guilty on all counts.
What does this mean? Justice was served in this case. Justice prevailed. But the justice we need is bigger than the verdict of this one case. Hopefully, this case will set a precedent for the verdicts to come for the many other victims of unjust police killings. We thank the jury for bravely doing the right thing. Our heart is with George Floyd’s family who has endured the devastation of his death.
In too many instances, with too many deaths, justice was not present. It didn’t prevail. This guilty verdict saved this nation, and our communities, from the explosive, aggravated response from people not able to take the injustices any longer. We know this verdict will not replace George Floyd whose death created turmoil for this nation and a worldwide response.
Watching George Floyd suffer for 9 minutes 29 seconds last May and reliving it every day since then, and now, during the Derek Chavin trial, has been extremely difficult. We’ve watched and learned more about the specifics of George Floyd’s dying moments than we really want to or can bear to know. But seeing it and hearing the defense’s rationale for his death and the prosecution’s evidence of his murder show the two Americas we live in.
We are not okay. We need much healing from George Floyd’s death and the thousands of others who have died without just cause.
At the National Civil Rights Museum, we are reminded every day of the need for meaningful protest to bring attention to inhumanity and injustice. Dr. King led many non-violent, but disruptive protests. He refused to be silenced in the wake of injustice. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We are a museum of protest and we tell the stories of the men and women who sacrificed their lives for civil and human rights through disruptive, non-violent protests.
We saw evidence last summer, with 100-plus days of protest for the series of police-involved deaths, that people want to be heard and action taken to stop the killings. As the nation heard the verdict in the Derek Chavin trial and mourned more police-involved deaths that have occurred during this trial, we are not okay.
It’s a difficult time as we experience, directly or indirectly, what is happening around us. It’s difficult to explain to our children what they are seeing or hearing and how it may touch them. It’s difficult to discuss among ourselves how this continues to happen, even when the nation is admitting that we have a race problem.
Until we do something constructive about it, with the intention of stopping it, not just talking about it, the deaths and the justification for them will continue.
No. We are STILL not okay.
CRL on Derek Chauvin Conviction
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a jury convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin of the murder of George Floyd, finding him guilty on all three counts.
Center for Responsible Lending President Michael Calhoun issued the following statement:
“We all watched in horror last year as Derek Chauvin denied George Floyd the breath of life with a knee to his neck. While our fear that this obvious and extreme act of brutality might go unpunished has lifted, our hearts still hold the sorrow of precious lives needlessly lost.
“This brutal killing is part of the long legacy of racism and the killing of Black and brown people by police, which has continued even as this trial took place. This racism continues to permeate our society. It includes our financial system, which denies equitable opportunity for Black and brown families, who have been harmed and held down by a system that does not afford them the same access to fair, responsible services and opportunities that white communities take for granted.
“Even before our nation’s founding, Black Americans sought their freedom and the ability to enjoy the promise of America. Instead, structural racism has met them at every turn, robbing them of the humane treatment and citizenship that they deserve. Institutional discrimination is ingrained in every facet of American society, from the criminal justice system to education and housing. Black Americans deserve a fair shot at the Declaration of Independence’s promise of ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ However, they have for centuries endured second-class citizenship despite their free labor being the foundation of our democracy.
“The Center for Responsible Lending’s work seeks to democratize access to safe and fair financial services and repair the harm done to Black Americans, as current inequities are part of the ongoing legacy of institutional discrimination in our nation. We also stand in solidarity with civil rights organizations and other Americans who resist this injustice. We call on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. And we recommit each day to pulling anti-Blackness out of the soil by its roots, holding in our hearts George Floyd and the other precious Black lives we have lost.”
Chauvin Conviction is Long-Awaited, but Does Not Fix the Problem of Structural Racism in Policing
(MINNEAPOLIS) - The Hennepin County District Court announced Tuesday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted by a jury for the murder of George Floyd. The verdict comes nearly a year after the horrific incident, and amid a growing national consensus calling for transparency and accountability in policing. The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, acting president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“This verdict is a victory for the Floyd family in its search for accountability and its effort to begin healing. It also comes as a welcome departure from decades of disappointing, abhorrent results from the justice system when it comes to the lives of Black Americans, who for so long have been implicitly told that their lives do not matter in the eyes of the law.
“At the same time, despite bringing a slight sense of justice, this verdict pertains to only one case. It does not solve the systemic problem of racially discriminatory policing and lack of police accountability.
“The killings of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, which happened during this trial, are prime examples of just how far our nation still has to go. And the failed prosecutions and decisions not to prosecute on prior cases of police killings at all, remain a stain on this nation. This is why we must continue to push for passage and implementation of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act at the federal level, even as communities push for change at the local and state levels.”
Church leaders release statement on Chauvin verdict
Leaders of the United Church of Christ today expressed relief at the murder conviction against a former Minneapolis police officer in the 2020 killing of George Floyd –- but called for “the hard and necessary work” of reforming a police culture “still marred with the vestiges of white power, white privilege, and white supremacy.”
A jury in Hennepin County, Minn., convicted Derek Chauvin April 20 on three counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. A police officer at the time, Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck on a city street for some 9 minutes on May 25, 2020.
The three national officers of the UCC — General Minister and President John Dorhauer and Associate General Ministers Traci Blackmon and Karen Georgia Thompson — issued statements and a prayer, on video and in writing, at the UCC website.
“This triall and verdict were necessary steps forward in a long journey towards justice,” they said, “steps we have taken over and over again but which we have way too often failed to complete.
“We remember George Floyd is dead and his family still grieves him. May it be the case that his life is now remembered as a turning, the re-birthing of a movement for justice. May he be remembered as the one whose death caused white Americans to turn their faces towards the pain and suffering of Black communities that have been the object of white derision and scorn, a pain and suffering from which whites have too often and too easily hid their faces.”
The officers also shared a statement from the Rev. Velda Love, the UCC’s minister for racial justice. “There is a collective sigh of relief for people on every continent and in every country who witnessed the murder of George Floyd,” Love said. “ … May we continue to repair the breach and work towards justice for all.”
STATEMENT FROM THE KING CENTER
“No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today, a jury of 12 found Derek Chauvin guilty of Second-Degree Murder, Third-Degree Murder and Second-Degree Manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Only in America can a Black person be callously murdered on video for the world to see, then be vilified, dehumanized, and faulted for his own murder. Although Chauvin was found guilty, this nation still faces an arduous journey toward implementing the demands of justice. Our hearts go out to George Floyd’s family and to the families and communities across this nation who have been violated by an institution designated by badges to “protect and serve.” As with other institutions and systems in this nation, law enforcement’s practices and policies so often dehumanize and perpetuate destruction of Black and brown lives. We recognize that there are many facets to ending systemic and overt racism, including in the criminal justice system. “Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream,” we will immerse ourselves in the work of love-centered, strategic, nonviolent deconstruction of injustice and construction of public safety that engages all human beings with dignity, equity and compassion. We still believe this is not only possible, but that we can, as Dr. King said, “organize our strength into compelling power so that the government [and other power constructs] cannot elude our demands.”
Jury Convicts Chauvin for the Murder of George Floyd, But the Work to End Police Violence and the White Supremacy that Drives It Continues
Statement from leaders of MomsRising, the online and on-the-ground organization of more than one million mothers and their families, on the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd:
“George Floyd should still be here. A jury today convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd, as was right. We know that a conviction alone is not justice and we stand in support of the family of George Floyd, the people of Minneapolis, and Black and Brown communities across the country who still face rampant police violence each and every day.
Derek Chauvin conviction necessary, but more needs to be done
“The killing of George Floyd was an appalling act of police violence that shocked and horrified millions of Americans and led to protests globally calling for racial justice and police accountability. We’ve all seen the sickening video of Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Today’s verdict is an acknowledgement that police officers cannot get away with murder, but we still have a long way to go to achieve the justice demanded by so many protesters in the last year.
“Derek Chauvin was filmed putting his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes. Most cases involving police killings don’t have video capturing what happened. The fact that justice was done in this case cannot allow us to forget about the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Dion Johnson, among many others. But this case galvanized a movement for justice that has expanded across the country, rooted in longstanding demands for a reimagining of a criminal legal system built on anti-Black racism and white supremacy. Lawmakers at the state and federal level must begin holding officers accountable for police violence. The time to act is now.”
While justice landed Derek Chauvin behind bars for killing George Floyd, no amount of justice will bring Gianna's father back. The same way a reasonable police officer would never suffocate an unarmed man to death, a reasonable justice system would recognize its roots in white supremacy and end qualified immunity. Police are here to protect, not lynch. We will not rest until all in our community have the right to breathe.”
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