Following today’s verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd, Commissioner Rodney Ellis issued the following statement:
“For decades, our criminal legal system has failed to acknowledge the killings of Black and Brown people as crimes, declaring those responsible innocents of any wrongdoing. Today, that changed.
“Derek Chauvin, the man whose knee stayed on George Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes, who took George Floyd’s life, has been declared guilty on all charges.
“This verdict is important because Derek Chauvin ended George Floyd’s life, and it is about time that we recognized the murders of Black people at the hands of the police as the crimes that they are. Make no mistake – real justice looks like George Floyd being able to go home to his daughter, but I hope that this verdict brings George Floyd’s family and loved ones, who have been fighting for justice in the courts, some peace.
“At the same time, I will not pretend that this fixes everything that is wrong with our criminal legal system. Since we lost George Floyd a year ago, we have also lost Daunte Wright, aged 20. Adam Toledo, aged 13. We will continue to lose young Black and Brown lives to the criminal legal system unless we radically reimagine public safety.
“Today’s guilty verdict may resolve George Floyd’s case, but true justice will only come when we are no longer adding names to the list of victims of police violence. We must end the practice of incarcerating people for poverty, mental health, and substance use and invest in our community’s health and safety. We will truly provide justice for George Floyd and honor his memory when we create a system that truly respects Black lives, makes our communities safer and serves justice.”