Rock the Vote’s Statement on the Guilty Verdict in State v. Chauvin

Rock the Vote commends the jury in State v. Chauvin for shining light on the truth, which is that ex-police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in nine minutes and 39 seconds.

We mourn for those who knew George Floyd, especially for his daughter, Gianna Floyd whose father was taken from her by a police officer when she was just 6-years-old.

We uplift the heroic actions of then 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, who boldly documented the final moments of Floyd’s life that enabled the world to bear witness to his murder and ultimately reignited what would become the largest movement the world has ever known.

We recognize the millions of people who poured into the streets to call attention to the injustice while making a powerful case that could not be ignored.

We are relieved that witnesses who recounted their stories spoke open and honestly, even when it did not serve them.

And, we are reassured that The Department of Justice is opening an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

But, we are not fooled. This is not justice. Real justice is not possible when a life has been stolen. This is truth. This is accountability. This is the simple recognition of a basic idea — that Black Lives Matter.

We remember that truth and accountability remain absent for countless Black lives like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor — so many that we could fill a city of gravestones.

We remain outraged by the continued police killings — an average of three per day during the trial — including 20-year-old Daunte Wright, 13-year-old Adam Toledo, and 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant.

We should not have to march in the streets to move our elected and appointed leaders to take action. And, we should not have to film murders to prove law enforcement’s abuse of power. We should not have to hope for truth or hold our breath for accountability. And, we should not be killed by a government entity infected by racism that we fund with the promise that it will protect and serve us.

Truth reigned in the murder of George Floyd, but it remains nascent in the collective American psyche, our institutions, and our policies. Established during a time of profound and widely accepted racism, our system will continue to fail until we face our truth and correct our path. This was a small step forward.

With modest strides toward truth and accountability, we see those whose power is rooted in a white patriarchal heteronorm attempting to silence Black and Brown Americans through anti-voter and anti-demonstration measures. These elected officials are stripping citizens of their most powerful tools in a democracy — the right to vote and the right to assemble. Tools designed to empower citizens to hold their leaders accountable. Tools that helped bring truth and accountability for the murder of George Floyd.

We remain committed to the truth and to hold our leaders accountable. And, we remain resolute in our fight and demand for justice and equity. Nine minutes and 39 seconds.

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