Our Statement on the Chauvin Trial Verdict
Yesterday, we joined our community in breathing a collective sigh of relief when a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty as charged in the murder of George Floyd. The eyes of the world have been on Minnesota, watching and waiting to see whether our community would deliver justice in this case. Yet even as we acknowledge the verdict and the hope it brings, another family is preparing to lay their son to rest. As the world watched the Chauvin trial and our communities pushed for change, another life ended tragically, within seconds of an interaction with the police. We know—and history has shown repeatedly—that George Floyd’s and Daunte Wright’s senseless deaths are not isolated.
The accountability we saw in the courtroom yesterday is a huge step toward achieving justice. But justice goes beyond the decision of 12 jurors.
When justice is achieved, it is the rule, not the exception.
While we knew disparities existed, the Klieg light of global attention has burned down on our city these past 11 months in ways that we cannot ignore, revealing deep, endemic racism in policing. This racism can no longer be denied, and it is doubly damning that so many people have ignored, for far too long, the experiences—the realities—of our Black community.
Today, we celebrate the leadership of our attorney general and the prosecutorial team that set the bar for what the legal process looks like when it centers on justice. We stand with the Minneapolis police chief, the officers, and the witnesses who did the right thing by testifying for the state in this case. And to the bystanders, the brave residents who did all they could on May 25th to intervene: You are the unsung heroes.
Darnella Frazier’s tenacity in documenting the death of George Floyd has changed the world. That video brought to life, through George Floyd’s death, the experiences of many Brown and Black people in our country and our city.
We cannot unsee what we have seen. Now that the bar of accountability has been set, we can—and we must—choose to move forward by continuing to act in justice and to address inequities in our systems.