Nearly a year after George Floyd was murdered, Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all three counts. This verdict does not undo George Floyd’s wrongful death, nor does it heal the hearts left broken after his passing. In the words of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison: “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however—because justice implies restoration. But it is accountability.”
While it is a step in the right direction of advancing positive change, no singular verdict will bring about justice. The grief, shock, relief, and the joy we feel today is an indictment of a system that we know in our hearts does not bring about justice. This moment was only possible because a 17-year-old, Darnella Frazier, recorded the murder. We need to ensure greater accountability as we examine the causes, ideologies, and structures in our country that enable and perpetuate injustice.
True justice will only prevail when we dismantle the systems that privilege some and oppress many. We must continue to fight for the safety and wellbeing of every single individual in this country; for systems that uphold justice in all its forms, not deny it; and for expanded, equitable economic opportunity.
Today and every day, we mourn the wrongful deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and so many other Black, Indigenous, and Brown Americans named and unnamed. We know that one trial, one verdict, one reform will not bring about justice for all. We know the work continues and it will be a long, hard journey.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson said yesterday: “No amount of justice will bring Gianna’s father back. We will not rest until all in our community have the right to breathe.” His words, and the many that have been shared by leaders across the country, will continue to sit with me. We will not rest until all in our community have the right to breathe.
George Floyd’s life mattered. Black Lives Matter. And just as we applaud yesterday’s ruling, we must remain steadfast and pursue justice and equity in all its forms. While the moral arc may bend towards justice, it only does so through intentional change, advocacy, and community-led movements. We must do the work to become anti-racist and to advance justice every single day. It is work that we are committed to doing, and we hope you’ll join us.