Less than 24 hours after the guilty on all counts verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvinl, I write this letter with mixed feelings. I am so thankful the jurors saw the video of George Floyd’s death for what it was–murder. I am so thankful for our community members who have showed up to protest injustices, who provided shelter and medical care to protestors, and who cleaned up our communities. I am proud of the students who organized a walk-out this past Monday, and proud of the difficult conversations many of us had with friends and family.
Simultaneously, I am heartbroken. I am heartbroken that George Floyd had to be murdered for us to see a small shift in the justice system; that Black and brown folks, especially those identifying as male, continue to be at a significantly higher risk of being killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts. I am absolutely devastated that, even while we waited for the verdict in this case, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and, just minutes before the verdict was read yesterday, Makiyah Bryant, were killed by law enforcement. Friends, our work is just beginning.
The truth is that the U.S. policing system was built on assumed heterosexual white male superiority. Yes, there are many good cops who risk their lives to truly serve the best interests of their communities. However, those upstanding officers are not able to thrive in an environment that continues to protect and uphold the assumed superiority complexes. If we want to protect our Black and brown neighbors, survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and the good cops, we need to advocate for police accountability.
Make no mistake, police violence is gun violence. That’s why we’re joining organizations like CAIR-MN, the ACLU of Minnesota, and the Urban League Twin Cities, among many others, in calling for a larger approach to reforming policing in Minnesota. We are asking our supporters to contact their legislators and encourage them to support the proposed police accountability laws (listed below) before the end of the 2021 session.
- End the Statute of Limitations for Lawsuits for Wrongful Deaths Caused by Police (HF 717, SF 2021)
- Strengthen Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (HF 640)
- End Police-Only Responses to Mental Health Crisis Calls (HF 1686, SF 1924)
- End Qualified Immunity (HF 1104, SF 580)
- End Prosecution for Reporting Police Misconduct (HF 2201)
- Require Police to Carry Professional Liability Insurance (HF 440, SF 815)
- Require Access to Body Worn Camera Footage in Police Critical Incidents within 48 Hours (HF 1103, SF 807)
Thank you for your continued support of Protect Minnesota as we work to make ALL Minnesotans safe from gun violence.
In solidarity & peace,