CEO Statement on George Floyd Murder Verdict
April 20, 2021
A Minnesota jury has found Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts, including second-degree murder, in the death of George Floyd. The jury’s decision to convict Chauvin marks an important milestone on the path to justice for the Floyd family. Unfinished work remains: first with the sentencing of Derek Chauvin and later the trial of his three co-defendants – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and Alexander Kueng. These proceedings must be done with all diligence if the family is to achieve the full measure of justice they deserve.
In addition, this verdict comes in the wake of the police killings of twenty-year-old Daunte Wright and thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo in the last ten days. The demonstrations over George Floyd’s death have remained constant since last summer because the killings of Black people by police have remained constant. Yet, accountability for those killings remains rare. This conviction, sadly, is an exception in a long history of injustice and demonstrates -- at least today -- a shift towards accountability.
CEO believes everyone has a role to play in ensuring that our democracy, and especially our criminal legal system, delivers justice for all. Elected officials and government leaders must now work to repair public trust and confidence in our criminal legal system, especially among communities of color. This is essential to true public safety. We support peaceful protests and recognize the leadership of families impacted by gun violence and racist police abuse in advocating for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and the other Black victims of racist violence. It is time for government leaders to listen to these voices and the people and communities that are directly impacted by the criminal legal system.
CEO calls on Congress, the President, Mayors, Governors, District Attorneys, and other local elected officials to shift resources from ineffective law enforcement, prisons and jails towards employment services, housing, education and other vital programs that support Black people and strengthen communities of color.