A jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.
The following statement can be attributed to Jason Williamson, deputy director of the national ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project:
“George Floyd will never make his way home to play games with his daughter, Gianna. He’ll never go on walks through the park with his beloved fiancée Courteney or play basketball with his brother, Philonise. While today’s verdict is a step forward in the fight for police accountability and may help heal a grieving community, the systems that allowed a police officer to murder Mr. Floyd, ripping him away from his family and the communities that loved him so much, remain fully intact. These are the same systems that resulted in the death of another 20-year-old Black man at the hands of police less than 10 miles from this trial.
“Honoring the lives of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and countless other Black lives violently taken at the hands of police means that elected officials, activists, organizations like the ACLU, and regular people must not allow this verdict to lull us into a place of complacency. Instead, we must renew our conviction to create a world where police do not have the opportunity to use violence and harassment to target Black people as police have been doing since their inception as slave patrols created to monitor, control, and oppress Black communities. This new world includes removing police entirely from low-level enforcement and massively reinvesting in the communities that desperately want more for the legacies of their fallen. And we will fight with them to get there.”
The following statement can be attributed to Athar Haseebullah, Esq., executive director of the ACLU of Nevada:
“While this verdict brings a certain rare form of accountability for police, achieving this outcome for Mr. Floyd is only one step in addressing police abuse of power, disparate treatment, and excessive force against Black and Brown communities. We still must radically change policing in Nevada and across the country, increase accountability and transparency, and create policies that combat racism in policing.
“The jury's decision to convict Derek Chauvin does not negate the fact that Mr. Floyd’s tragic murder is part of a horrifying local and national pattern of officers using excessive force against people of color. Mr. Floyd was one of more than 5,000 people killed by police since 2015.
“Here in Nevada, we have to contend with the fact that we lack sufficient accountability in cases of police violence. Just last week in Las Vegas, the community watched a hollow process unfold in the case of Jorge Gomez, who was gunned down by Metro police during a Black Lives Matter protest in June. Despite significant questions about the police officers’ violent response in that case, the Clark County District Attorney’s office once again passed the buck.
“There are several bills being considered at the Nevada Legislature that can move the state of Nevada a few steps forward, but state and local leaders have to prioritize racial justice. Our elected officials, activists, communities, and organizations, including the ACLU of Nevada, must continue to fight for racial justice in George Floyd’s name. We must re-examine our entire system of public safety and public health and root out the racism that pervades law enforcement. We must prohibit police mistreatment of communities of color, which leads to people being both underserved and overpoliced. We must divert funding from traditional policing toward community-based services, such as crisis teams, so all communities are truly safe. We must remove police from enforcing traffic infractions and low-level offenses. Taking another person’s life is the most extreme action a police officer can take, and new standards for use of force, along with increased accountability and transparency, are needed to ensure that police violence and killings end for good.”