DFA CEO Yvette Simpson reacts to Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict

April 20, 2021 

Contact: Kelley Jackson

(770) 572-3766  

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(Vermont) -- George Floyd’s life mattered. This has been a long time coming, not only for the family and loved ones of George Floyd, but for the families and loved ones of every Black person that has died at the hands of police. 

We are relieved that justice for George Floyd has been served, but there is no justice whenever there is a loss of life at the hands of those who are sworn to serve and protect. Mr. Floyd’s life has served as a sacrifice for the future of Black men and women and children who have faced and will face police brutality and violence and disrespect. We know from the recent murder of Daunte Wright by Brooklyn Center police, just minutes away from where George Floyd was murdered, that the struggle continues and this work is far from over.

As we have just witnessed in the trial of Derek Chauvin, criminal justice should be administered in the courts, by juries, not on the streets by abusive police officers.

Today, Derek Chauvin was held accountable for his actions. We hope this verdict sends a message to law enforcement across the country, that you will be held accountable for your actions, abuse, and violence against Black people.

Sadly, we must continue the public demand and outcry: STOP KILLING US. Keep your knee off of our necks. Black lives matter. We must end qualified immunity now. And we must continue to fight to ensure the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is passed and Black Americans can begin to breathe.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a first, but necessary step forward in re-imagining public safety and holding police accountable across the country. We must take this important step right now to prevent another George Floyd, Daunte Wright, or Jacob Blake from being killed or severely injured by law enforcement. 

The bill would set a national standard for use of force by police officers, ban “no-knock” warrants in federal drug cases and the use of chokeholds, and limit the transfer of military equipment to police departments.

It would also expand the Department of Justice’s ability to investigate police departments for misconduct and establish a national police misconduct database.

It’s time for all police departments to hold their officers accountable and for all police to stop the abuse and murder of Black citizens.

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