As millions worldwide breathed a sigh of relief that the Minneapolis officer will be held accountable for his actions, we must remember that George Floyd took his last breath because of police violence.
If it wasn’t for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s decisions to select the legal team, add murder charges, and work on the case personally, the outcome might have been quite different. For this, we are hopeful that lasting change to the criminal justice system is possible.
Despite the victory, and while our nation progresses on a much-needed awakening, the scourge of systemic racism and the brutality of law enforcement continues to permeate throughout our society. Now, we mourn yet another victim, black teenager Ma’Khia Bryant from Ohio.
As we pay tribute to Mr. Floyd’s legacy—and to the legacy of all those who have been killed at the hands of law enforcement—Community Partners in Action also grieves what has brought us to this moment in history. May we channel our anger, sadness, and hurt into long-standing transformation that reimagines public safety, and sets a course toward a more equitable criminal justice system.
In our precious breaths, let us rebuild together.