Campus Election Engagement Project’s Response to Chauvin Trial VerdictLuke Verdecchia
Tuesday’s guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin represents an important milestone in the fight for racial justice in America. A jury delivered a unanimous decision to hold the former police officer accountable for his excessive use of force that caused the death of George Floyd. A jury delivered accountability.
This verdict does not change the fact that Floyd was murdered, nor does it mark an end to police misconduct and violence altogether, the harms of which are disproportionately felt by Black Americans. Over the course of the trial, at least 64 people died at the hands of law enforcement, including Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., just 10 miles from the courtroom where Chauvin was being tried. We mourn all of those who have unjustly died at the hands of law enforcement. This violence must stop.
The fight for racial justice is far from over. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that the words “liberty and justice for all” ring true for all Americans. Let us view this verdict as a call to action to do the work necessary to achieve true justice.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which the House of Representatives passed in March, seeks to address a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. The bill limits qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in some cases, prohibits racial profiling and creates a national registry of police misconduct.
The Senate has not yet passed the bill. You can reach out to your senators to express your opinions about the legislation as the chamber prepares to debate it. You can find the contact information of your senators here.
Below is a list of other ways to support racial justice initiatives. Like all of you, we want to learn, grow and help.
- Learn about anti-racism resources geared toward white people to engage in anti-racism work using this guide.
- Contact elected officials in your community responsible for policing to voice your concerns. At a municipal level, this can include your city council and/or mayor. At a county level, this can include the county sheriff.
- Attend city council meetings to voice your concerns about policing in your community. Many of these meetings occur online now via Webex or Zoom.
- Vote in local elections to ensure that officials who fight for racial justice are elected or continue to remain in office.
- Donate to community organizations that fight for racial justice, such as Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and Black Lives Matter.