Statement on the Derek Chauvin Verdict
The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin today brings little relief to the heavy burden of pain for George Floyd’s loved ones – as well as for young people of color and anyone who is working toward an end to police violence and an end to white supremacy. These days, weeks, and years are hard – from watching the prosecution blame George Floyd’s death on anything but the police officer who killed him, to the killings of Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright by police, to the frequent reports that there has been another killing, another officer unpunished, another protest met with even more brutality from the state. These guilty verdicts help a little – but it isn’t enough. It’s far from enough.
Young Black people face more and more threats to their health and well-being: and government systems seem intent on harming them further rather than providing the support they need. Yet they continue to be at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement, putting their own safety and their very lives on the line to demand an end to police killings. It’s a moral imperative for policymakers, organizations, and individual people to ensure young people are safe in their communities. Divesting from a police state and investing in programs that support young people is a starting point for that work.
The systems that put Black lives at risk must be dismantled. Young people have the right to lead healthy lives, and that includes living free of the fear of being killed by police.
We remember them. We say their names. We demand that the institution that killed them be abolished.
These names represent only a few of the hundreds of people killed by law enforcement since 2014.