PHILADELPHIA, April 21, 2021 – Today, Councilmember Derek Green (At-Large) issued a statement following the announcement of Tuesday’s verdict in the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of all charges in the death of George Floyd last Memorial Day:
Upon learning yesterday’s verdict in the case of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, for the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, I felt a sense of relief that some measure of justice has been served for this family. Although this is a major victory in the battle for equality and police reform, we must remind ourselves that we have much more work to do. We must remind ourselves that the notion of having to hold our breath for accountability when another black life is taken by police, is tragic in and of itself; a byproduct of systemic racism.
As someone with family members who served in law enforcement, I salute the heroic works that police officers provide every day. Yet only minutes before the Chauvin verdict was rendered, we lost another young black life at the hands of police in Columbus, Ohio: 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. This comes just a week and a half after the police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota – not far from where George Floyd was killed. These lives mattered. These lives did not have to be taken.
This is why I am calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Our cities, our people are screaming for accountability, and this bill will bring us closer to this goal.
- Creation of a national standard for the operation of police departments.
- Mandate data collection on police encounters.
- Limit transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
- Eliminate qualified immunity to allow Americans to recover damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
- Update the standard for use of deadly force from “reasonable” to “necessary”.
- Ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
Taking these steps will help improve the quality of life for so many Black and Brown individuals across this country who fear encounters with law enforcement.