Calls for Renewed Action on Racism: What Nonprofits and Foundations Are Saying After the Chauvin Conviction
April, 20 2021
The following is a collection of responses to the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Nonprofits and Advocacy Groups
“The presumption of guilt assigned to Black and brown people makes victimization by police, prosecutors, judges, and prison officials tolerable to many people in this country — even when people of color have been criminally assaulted, abused, or killed. That did not change with today’s verdict, but it must change if this country is to make progress. We believe that change requires more truth-telling about our past and our present. It should not take worldwide protests and months of sustained activism and marches to hold a police officer accountable when he commits a videotaped murder.”
— Equal Justice Initiative
“We have a right to be free from discrimination when interacting with law enforcement. This outcome is not enough, because George Floyd’s tragic death made all too clear the systemic failures of policing in the U.S. and that Black and brown communities bear the brunt of police violence. The truth is that Derek Chauvin being held accountable for killing George Floyd is the exception — not the rule.”
— Amnesty International
“Holding one murderer accountable does not deliver justice for George Floyd and other victims of state-sponsored violence; only holding ourselves accountable for creating and maintaining the system that enabled Chauvin can bring us any closer. Every day, we collectively choose to continue responding to generations of discrimination and disinvestment with police violence. Every day, we could choose to work toward systems worthy of public trust instead.”
— Phillip Atiba Goff, CEO, Center for Policing Equity CEO
“We will continue to challenge law enforcement agencies in court to demand transparency, accountability and justice on behalf of victims of police violence and discrimination.”
— Lawyers for Civil Rights
George Floyd’s murder has served as a flashpoint for change and a demand for meaningful reform. Genuine reform begins with reducing the number of encounters with police. We must shrink the footprint of police and direct more power and funding into the communities where those encounters have disproportionately taken place.
— Center for Court Innovation
While today’s verdict is a small win for police accountability and may help heal a grieving community, the systems that allowed George to be murdered — ripping him away from his family and the communities that loved him so much — remain fully intact.
— American Civil Liberties Union via Twitter
A moment of relief is here for many as the trial is over, yet the conviction of Derek Chauvin doesn’t absolve policing as a whole. #DefundThePolice
— Movement 4 Black Lives, via Twitter
“It cannot be said that justice was served today because true justice would be George Floyd — and all other victims of police violence — being alive today. We have a moral imperative to continue fighting for change so that we see the end of state-sanctioned violence against all of our communities.”
— Fair and Just Prosecution
“This is an incredibly important outcome, but this is only one case. The need to completely reimagine public safety and develop a system that centers community needs is more urgent now than ever. We must end this culture of impunity.”
— Wade Henderson, interim CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
“Police brutality has and continues to devastate communities of color. We must keep demanding change, including investing in community-based solutions, education, and health care, instead of militarizing police forces.”
— Alexis McGill Johnson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
We can now collectively exhale that justice — at least in this one case, for the memory of this one Black man, father, brother, and friend — has prevailed. Let us appreciate the magnitude of this moment and work toward a day when justice is no longer an anomaly for people of color.
— Tonya Allen, president of the McKnight Foundation and chair of the Council on Foundations.
“The conclusion of the Derek Chauvin trial shows us that justice can be served & accountability is possible. But more must be done. We must address the institutional racism that for too long has over-policed & under-resourced Black and brown communities.”
— Ford Foundation, via Twitter
“The conviction of Derek Chauvin doesn’t change the fundamental inequities in so many of our systems, including criminal justice. One case alone does not make or break any system. Systemic change is never that easy — but it must happen. In the end, the system we must build isn’t one that convicts George Floyd’s killer. It’s one that keeps George Floyd alive.”
— The Boston Foundation
“We will continue to advocate for new approaches that move away from the policing and criminalization of Black and Brown people towards more equity-centered public safety solutions. We remain committed to investing in systemic change which addresses the root causes of racism and disinvestment, which have disproportionately impacted Black communities.”
— California Community Foundation