Inslee statement on Chauvin trial verdict

April 20, 2021

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Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today regarding the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

"This was more than the death of one person. It was a trauma for George Floyd’s family, his children, the bystanders and indeed the entire nation. Weary families in so many communities, traumatized from images of brutality against Black and Brown people and feeling no power to stop it, can take heart today that justice was served in this instance. Yet, there is still much work to do. This is one step on a long journey we are just beginning.

"Today is a day for all to recommit themselves to a more perfect union, in their communities and in our nation. Let this be the beginning of progress rather than the end of one trial. Today’s sense of relief for some is fleeting. They know more must be done to prevent this from happening again and again. Too many live with this uncertainty. We must end systemic racism.

"In Washington, we are reforming independent investigations into police use of force; clarifying the requirements for tactics; increasing oversight and accountability for law enforcement officer conduct; and establishing better standards for permissible uses of force.”

"But ending systemic racism goes beyond our justice system. 

"Our communities will not be at peace until everyone feels secure to do the most basic things. I’m talking about the right to vote. Or the right to get in the car and drive anywhere safely without fear of being killed. To walk down any street in America or go shopping at the department store without being selectively followed. To work regardless of what your hair or skin color looks like. To rent or buy a house in the neighborhood of your choice, or to get an insurance policy without being asked for a credit score. These ordinary activities must be available to all.

"We must remain proactive – from those of us in elected office to those providing services in our agencies – to turn the tide of injustice. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said 'the moral arc of the universe' bends toward justice, and it takes all of us to usher it into existence."

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