Movement Strategy Center's Thoughts in the Wake of Derek Chauvin's Conviction

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We at Movement Strategy Center acknowledge Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the egregious murder of George Floyd last May for what it is: A bittersweet victory that won’t bring Floyd back. His loss is one his family and our communities will forever contend with.

We hope Chauvin’s guilty verdict signifies an opportunity in Minnesota and across this country for more accountability in the age-old brutal violence against Native Americans, Blacks, Latinx, and other people of color at the hands of law enforcement.

Does it mean an authentic and honest federal investigation of police brutality at large in Minneapolis will occur? Does it mean that our representatives at the Federal level will be re-energized and refocused on last summer’s police reform bill bearing Floyd’s name?

Does it mean that we and our communities will continue the fight to transform the role of law enforcement and what it means to keep our community safe?

You better believe that MSC and the communities we represent and support will continue fighting with love and intention for radical change!

It is very clear that if not for Darnella Frazier’s footage of Floyd’s slow and tortuous murder, the intentionally false narrative of the Minneapolis police department would have prevailed.

So yes, we are not stopping our fight for honesty, accountability, and equitable justice for Black lives, Brown lives, and the lives of the Indigenous and poor.

Let’s not forget that while Chauvin’s verdict was being determined, we learned that instead of using other methods to defuse a dangerous situation, police in Columbus, Ohio killed Ma’Khia Bryant — a 16-year-old Black child.

These over-policing and shoot-to-kill tactics resulting in the senseless killing of people must stop!

Per The New York Times, roughly 1,100 people are killed by law enforcement officers each year, with at least 64 fatalities occurring between March 29 (the day testimony in Chauvin’s trial began) and April 21. More than half those recent deaths were among Black and Latino individuals.

So we must always say their names: Duante Wright, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Tony McDade, Michelle Cusseaux, Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, Natasha McKenna, Stephon Clark, Jayne Thompson, Walter Scott, Bettie Jones, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Eric Reason, Dominique Clayton, Breonna Taylor, Adam Toledo, and every other Black life extinguished by law enforcement officers.

And we must pressure our elected officials. We must demand restorative justice and equity within our public safety and criminal justice systems. We must support our movement leaders in their tireless work dismantling systems of inequality and oppression. And, we must step up and speak out for true justice for our Black and Brown Brothers and Sisters!

Our hearts go out to the family of George Floyd; and to the friends and families of all victims of police brutality.