JACL Statement on Derek Chauvin Trial
On Tuesday, April 20, Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges related to the killing of George Floyd. Mr. Chauvin in being found guilty, and now awaiting sentencing, received the due process he denied George Floyd last year.
However, the verdict should not be seen as justice. Justice is measured in real transformation; something that our country has yet to truly see. Instead, this verdict is about accountability, and accountability is one step on that path towards justice. Change needs to occur on all levels, in our communities, in our police force, in our justice system, and in our Congress, if we want to see true justice served.
At the end of the day, George Floyd is still dead, his family has been given a bittersweet victory, but they will never see their partner, father, and brother again. In the months since that fateful day, countless more people of color have been killed at the hands of the police. Iremamber Sykap, Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, Christian Hall, and Angelo Quinto, just to name a few. Others still have been subjected to continued use of unnecessary and excessive force, as they feared for their lives and the very real possibility that their name may be added to the list above.
Let this small victory invigorate us and remind us of the work we do in making change for the better. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a step in the right direction towards re-envisioning what law enforcement ought to look like in support of the communities with which it has too often been at odds. The systemic racism that led to George Floyd’s death must be rooted out from law enforcement just as we must seek to end its grip on our education, health care, and financial systems.
George Floyd should be alive today. As we continue to say his name, and the names of all those lost to excessive use of force at the hands of the police, we will remember them, remember this moment in our history, and continue forward to create a more just and equitable world.