We joined the nation’s collective sigh of relief when the Hennepin County jury in Minnesota found a veteran Minneapolis police officer guilty of the murder of George Perry Floyd. Finally, a police officer was convicted of taking a Black life.
Relief is not justice. And the verdict – as empowering as it is – is not justice. As Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said, “It is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.” The attorney general called upon the public to work toward this goal. “And now the cause of justice is in your hands. And when I say your hands, I mean the hands of the people of the United States.”
We are committed to seek changes and advance reforms in our society, in our systems, and in our individual biases. During the trial, another Minnesota police officer killed another Black man, a 20-year-old father, during a traffic stop. And a mere 30 minutes before the verdict was announced, a police officer in Ohio killed a Black teenage girl outside a foster home.
We recognize the long road ahead. We are committing to addressing the systemic racism experienced in the communities and by the people we represent, in the cases we undertake and in the remedies we seek. We pledge to work with our partners to hold people accountable, to fight for justice, and to ensure that Black lives matter.