Why The George Floyd Verdict Matters to the Nation and to the World

Long before the verdict was read Tuesday afternoon it was clear, especially in communities of color, that George Floyd was murdered and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was guilty. What was also clear is that this trial was not just about Chauvin. And it not merely about the man he killed.

The verdict was not an end but a beginning. Our nation will now have to rebuild trust among those on the streets and suburbs and those assigned to protect them. The even harder work of overhauling how public safety is handled in this country is just beginning.

“A flawed system laid the groundwork for the death of George Floyd. It’s a system that too often fails to recruit police from the communities they guard, fails to train officers properly, fails to place just limits on the use of force against citizens, and fails to create mechanisms for the independent investigation of misconduct,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. “It’s a system that badly needs reform — here and across the country.

“America has an opportunity now to fully address the pandemic of racial inequities and the prejudice we have suffered from its inception, and until now have only gradually addressed, said Newark, New Jersey mayor Ras Baraka. “The finding of former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd will hasten the continued, long march toward significant police and criminal justice reimagining and transformation.:

“But it’s also time to reckon with systematic racism that has plagued every institution in this country and meet it squarely, face to face,” he added. “All over the country, community activists have been mobilized and unified to push for smarter and more humane ways to ensure public safety and elected officials all over the country are trying to, and can, answer that call.”

Here are some other key thoughts:

United States Senator Cory Booker:

Former United States Attorney General Sally Yates:

This was the right verdict. But as an educator who has spent decades with undeserved populations, I know that even a successful event like this can still leave families of victims with a sense of emptiness. A verdit dies not erase the trauma; it can never bring back a lost loved one. We simply hope it can bring some closure to those most in pain.

A flawed system laid the groundwork for the death of George Floyd. It’s a system that too often fails to recruit police from the communities they guard, fails to train officers properly, fails to place just limits on the use of force against citizens, and fails to create mechanisms for the independent investigation of misconduct. It’s a system that badly needs reform — here and across the country.

This was the right verdict. But as a career prosecutor, I know how even a successful trial verdict can leave the families of victims with a sense of emptiness. A conviction cannot undo the trauma; it can never bring back a lost loved one. We simply hope it can bring some closure to those most in pain.

A flawed system laid the groundwork for the death of George Floyd. It’s a system that too often fails to recruit police from the communities they guard, fails to train officers properly, fails to place just limits on the use of force against citizens, and fails to create mechanisms for the independent investigation of misconduct. It’s a system that badly needs reform — here and across the country.

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