After a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, Vice President Kamala Harris stated Tuesday that, though she feels reduction, there may be nonetheless a lot work to do to unravel systemic racism.
“A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice,” the vp stated alongside President Joe Biden. “This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is, we still have work to do.”
Harris, who’s Black and South Asian American, spoke on the lectern to the nation concerning the significance of Tuesday’s verdicts and the way they’re nonetheless not sufficient to rectify the generations of systemic, lethal hurt placed on Black and brown folks. She gave her speech earlier than Biden stepped to the microphone.
“We are all a part of George Floyd’s legacy, and our job now is to honor it and to honor him,” she added.
The jury convicted Chauvin, a white former officer, on all three counts after deliberating for about 10 hours ― second-degree homicide, third-degree homicide and second-degree manslaughter. The verdict accomplished a trial that was watched throughout the nation, and it highlighted the deeply rooted downside of police brutality and systemic racism. Chauvin might probably face a long time in jail, relying on his sentencing listening to in the summertime.
The verdict itself comes simply weeks earlier than the anniversary of Chauvin’s homicide of Floyd, a Black man, by kneeling on his neck for greater than 9 minutes whereas different law enforcement officials additionally restrained Floyd or stood by. Floyd’s homicide, mixed with mounting documented incidents of police violence in opposition to Black and brown folks, led to a wave of nationwide protests final yr in opposition to police brutality and racial injustice.
“Because of smartphones, so many Americans have now seen the racial injustice that Black Americans have known for generations, that my parents protested in the 1960s, that millions of us Americans of every race protested last summer,” Harris stated.
“Here’s the truth about racial injustice: It is not just a Black American problem or a people of color problem. It is a problem for every American. It is keeping us from fulfilling the promise of liberty and justice for all. And it is holding our nation back from realizing our full potential.”
After the verdicts had been learn, Biden and Harris referred to as the Floyd household to specific their reduction over the responsible verdicts.
“I am just so thankful for the entire family for your courage, your commitment, your strength,” Harris stated throughout the name, which was posted by the household’s legal professional Ben Crump. “This is a day of justice in America, and your family … has been real leaders in this moment when we needed you. In George’s name and memory, we are going to make sure his legacy is intact and that history will look at this moment and know that it was an inflection moment.”
Biden instructed the household throughout the name that he was “anxious to see you guys” and to “get a lot more done” to fight systemic racism. In his speech Tuesday night, the president stated that the responsible verdict doesn’t deliver Floyd again to life, “but through the family’s pain they’re finding a purpose so George’s legacy will not be just about his death but about what we must do in his memory.”
Harris burdened that the U.S. has had an extended historical past of racism that’s embedded into almost each nationwide system.
“Black Americans, and Black men in particular, have been treated in the course of our history as less than human,” she stated. “Black men are fathers and brothers and sons, and uncles and grandfathers and friends and neighbors.”
“Their lives must be valued in our education system, in our health care system, in our housing system, in our economic system, in our criminal justice system, in our nation. Full stop.”
The vp introduced up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which as a senator she launched final summer season alongside Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.). The invoice is supposed to carry legislation enforcement accountable and assist construct belief between police and the communities they serve.
“This bill is part of George Floyd’s legacy. The president and I will continue to urge the Senate to pass this legislation; not as a panacea to every problem, but as a start. This work is long overdue.”
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