EHTP Statement on Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict

These last weeks, as the Derek Chauvin trial played out on our laptops and in our living rooms, we’ve had to sit with the knowledge that, in our country, we can witness a Black man being murdered on the news—and still wonder if his killer would go free. Whatever relief we felt at hearing the word “guilty” was tempered by our understanding that it could have gone the other way. 

The burden of that knowledge wasn’t lifted by today’s verdict. Nothing can erase the trauma, rage or fear felt in Black and Brown communities. There will never be any true justice for George Floyd, and we as a country have to live with that, too. 

But how we live with it matters. This is exactly the moment to double down, build momentum, and demand systemic change in our institutional structures, in our policing, in our communities, and in our schools. Justice isn’t something that can be handed to us by a jury of our peers; we have to build it. And we are going to have to start from scratch.

Tonight, we send our love to George Floyd’s family members, who have been forced to relive this painful death over and over, and to Black people, who were traumatized and re-traumatized every time they saw a news clip playing the video, again and again.  

Finally, we remember all the victims who died at the hands of those who had sworn to protect them. Those victims’ families sat in similar stark courtrooms in similar cities on similar afternoons and heard “not guilty,”’or “charges dropped,” or “declined to prosecute.” We hold them in our prayers and our commitments to action for a better tomorrow.