WASHINGTON — NEA President Becky Pringle issued the following statement about the jury verdict in the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd. The jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree manslaughter, third-degree murder, and second-degree murder.
“Most of us — regardless of our race, gender identity or ZIP code — want to live without fearing for our lives or those of our loved ones. George Floyd died at the hands of those who are entrusted to protect us and our communities. While the jury reached the right decision and did in fact convict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of George Floyd’s murder, we are again joining together to make sure all of us feel safe in our schools, neighborhoods and communities.
“We know that just miles away, while the trial of Derek Chauvin was taken place, another unarmed Black man died at the hands of a police officer, joining the sad and egregiously long list of crimes committed against Black people by police in cities and on back roads, in living rooms and on neighborhood streets, in the dark of night and the light of day. Daunte Wright. Adam Toledo. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery.
“Today, as people continue to mourn and march together in anger over the brutal killing of another Black American, some people will do anything to shame and blame the very victims of this police brutality as we witnessed during the trial and as we have seen on tape time and time again to distract us from their failures to ensure we have the care, security and support every one of us needs.
“We are stronger and safer when we come together to face shared challenges and develop collective solutions. As the one-year mark of George Floyd’s murder approaches, we must continue to come together to demand accountability and justice for all and to demand that our elected leaders — especially those who have taken an oath to serve and protect us – to respect our rights, no matter our race, background or where we live.
“We know that a better future is possible. It is time to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, so that all of our communities are safe for every one of us — no exceptions.”