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Chauvin Verdict

Statement Concerning the Chauvin Verdict from Will Jawando, former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement under President Barack Obama and current Councilmember At-Large of Montgomery County, Maryland.
Last year, the whole world watched while George Floyd was slowly choked to death in broad daylight by a police officer. It was abundantly clear then what the jury decided today: that former officer Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder. George Floyd should be alive today, surrounded by the people who love him.
The heartbreaking truth is this is one case that was caught on video and shared by a bystander. A tragedy that, unfortunately, is not unique. Too often systems of injustice that are supposed to protect life, do the exact opposite. We have seen too many deaths at the hands of policing in the United States.
Today, in this case, justice has been served.
But it has not been served for too many men, women, and children who have lost their lives – people such as Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Robert White, Elijah McClain, Finan Berhe, Atatiana Jefferson, Rayshard Brooks, Dominique Williams, James Johnson. Their lives mattered. Let this verdict serve as a wake-up call to those who have been ignorant of the state sanctioned violence and dehumanization that Black people and other people of color have experienced for hundreds of years.
While I acknowledge that a guilty conviction can never bring back those lives stolen by police violence, including Mr. Floyd’s, we are still better served by a system that shows that it can be held accountable. We have to work to fundamentally transform these systems and I’ll continue to use the power of my position as an At-Large Member of the Montgomery County Council to do just that.
Rest in Peace, George Floyd.
Today and everyday, Black Lives Matter.

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