On Tuesday, April 20, former police office Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd. Elisha Rhodes, Interim CEO, YWCA USA has issued the following statement in response:
“The conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the 2020 killing of George Floyd is an indication that the police brutality and violence that has plagued our nation will no longer stand, and the blatant disregard of Black lives and people of color will no longer be tolerated.
Today’s verdict offers a moment of respite and hope, yet we know that much more needs to be done to ensure that no more lives are lost as tragically, senselessly, and unjustly as George Floyd. In too many communities across the country, the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is frayed and is broken. We have been and continue to be challenged by the daily trauma of excessive police force, racial violence, and brutality in our communities. Our hearts and prayers remain with the family of George Floyd as they continue to grieve the loss of their father, husband, brother, and friend, and to all those who have suffered the loss of their loved ones as a result of police violence.
Recommendations like those found in YWCA’s report, We Still Deserve Safety: Ending the Criminalization of Women and Girls of Color, provide a blueprint for ending the police violence against people of color and for advancing racial justice and safety measures that protect communities of color from harm by law enforcement, school resource officers, immigration authorities, and other state actors. It is our hope that law enforcement agencies and policymakers will take these recommendations seriously; that they will join together with communities in the difficult conversations and actions necessary to reimagine policing and public safety, and to heal from the racial trauma we have witnessed and endured.
Our democracy requires nothing less from each of us as we continue our pursuit for justice, civil rights, and a world where justice just is.”
Additional racial justice and policy recommendations from YWCA USA can be found in Advancing Justice, Safety, & Accountability (2020), Civil Rights Coalition Letter on Federal Policing Priorities, Civil Rights Principles for Safe, Healthy, and Inclusive School Climates, Families Belong Together and Free, We Deserve Safety, and YWCA and Racial Justice.