Today the Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota found Derek Chauvin—the former police officer who killed George Floyd last May—guilty of second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter.
Although the jury’s decision brings with it a measure of relief that a police officer can be held accountable for the murder of a Black man in the United States, the verdict does not restore the lives of George Floyd and countless Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color whom the police continue to murder. Nor does it curtail the constant surveillance and abuse that BIPOC Americans endure at the hands of our government. Holding individual officers like Derek Chauvin accountable for their heinous actions is critical to the work of achieving racial justice in this country. Additionally, demanding that our government dismantle its white supremacist system of policing and intentionally invest social services and community resources in BIPOC communities is foundational to that work. Equitas Health is committed to both.
While justice was served in this case, there is much more work to be done by those of us served and protected by the police at the expense of Black lives. We must reject this and every other system of white supremacy in this country. These systems will not be torn down as easily as a statue or a brick-and-mortar building, but they must be torn down.
And white Americans must shoulder this burden.
Until then, “liberty and justice for all” remains a promise unfulfilled.