Derek Chauvin has been held accountable. We hope that Mr. Floyd’s family finds some peace with this outcome.
While it is a significant step forward, this guilty verdict on its own will not deliver the kind of justice that will truly keep our communities safe.
Since the Chauvin trial began on March 29, cops have killed an average of three people each day, and more than half of the victims are Black and Latinx. Protestors marching in the wake of the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo were met with police wielding assault rifles, teargas, and military-grade protective gear. The Chauvin trial has not stopped the now-familiar cycle of police committing harm, then responding to demands for justice with more violence.
The conviction of Derek Chauvin will not prevent police violence.
From the Kerner Commission recommendations after the 1967 uprisings, to the proposals after the vicious attack on Rodney King in 1991, to President Obama’s Taskforce on Policing after Eric Garner and Michael Brown’s murders in 2014, history has shown that reform does not stop state-sanctioned violence at the hands of police.
To move our communities closer to safety and stop the killing of Black people by the state, we must look toward community-based solutions, not the criminal justice system.
Justice comes when we divest the billions of dollars we spend on police each year and invest in community services, restorative justice models and mental health resources. Justice comes from our communities thriving without prisons and policing. Justice comes from affordable housing and healthcare, fully-funded education, access to healthy food, childcare, and good jobs.
This week the Ella Baker Center will be holding a Community Healing Vigil where community members can come together to honor the lives of those lost to police violence, heal from the trauma of ongoing state violence, and generate support to enact change.
Because police don’t keep us safe. We keep us safe.
The Ella Baker Center, Restore Oakland, The Young Women’s Freedom Center, CURYJ, and Urban Peace Movement will host an outdoor, socially distanced Community Healing Vigils on April 21 at 5:30 pm at 1419 34th Avenue in Oakland.