SEATTLE – Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide), Chair of the Governance & Education Committee, issued the following statement in response to the verdict issued in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin:
“Seattle, like the rest of the country, has been anticipating the jury’s verdict in the murder trial of George Floyd. For weeks, we have all tuned into the trial seeking to hold former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin accountable for the killing of Mr. Floyd, which sparked a global racial reckoning and this civil rights moment.
“The verdict finding former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges is welcome news but we know that it will not bring George Floyd back to his family. And we know that far too often police killings of Black, Brown and Indigenous members of our communities have resulted in no justice or systemic change.
“We live in two different Americas, where your access to community safety is often determined by your skin color. The status quo of American’s criminal legal system too often fails to deliver meaningful justice to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.
“The murder of George Floyd is still painful for so many of us regardless of this conviction. Elected officials, like me, must remain committed to justice and just systems that meet the needs of, not perpetuates the inequities, of Black-Americans in our communities. Justice is not achieved or lost in a single trial. True justice will only be won when BIPOC individuals are safe from police brutality and the oppressive systems of institutionalized racism that prevent fair and equal access to safety, opportunity and prosperity.
“As our community members begin to process and react to this conviction, I urge us all to peacefully demonstrate and to refrain from violence and destruction.
“Likewise, it is my expectation that the Seattle Police Department will refrain from indiscriminate and unnecessary use of force, will establish clear channels of communication with the members of the Seattle City Council and members of the general public, and work to ensure that residents have the opportunity to safely exercise their First Amendment rights.”