SAINT PAUL, MN (April 20, 2021) Today, a Minneapolis jury found Derek Chauvin – a white police officer – guilty for the murder of George Floyd. George Floyd – a Black 46-year-old Minneapolis resident – was killed by Chauvin and three other officers on May 25 of last year. Floyd’s murder sparked widespread condemnation and protests across the Twin Cities and across the country. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker social justice organization – organized against this killing and police violence nationwide.
“The brutal murder of George Floyd is the consequence of a racist system that disproportionately targets people of color for violence, imprisonment, and premature death,” said Shanene Herbert, director of AFSC’s Healing Justice program in Saint Paul. “No matter the outcome of the trial, young people of color are living every day with the ongoing trauma of police violence, the militarization of our cities, tear gas invading their homes, and brutality against protestors. Instead of this constant dehumanization, we need resources to help us heal and rebuild the beloved community we all deserve.”
The Twin Cities Healing Justice Program works to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline, institute restorative practices in St. Paul Public Schools, conduct circle-keeping training for students and educators, and help young people build an analysis of race and engage in anti-racist youth organizing. Since the murder of George Floyd, the program has been working alongside organizations, individuals, and communities across the Twin Cities to hold space for young people to express themselves and take action.
This verdict comes in the wake of a series of high-profile police killings across the country, including the murder of Daunte Wright, a young Black man killed by a white police officer not far from where the trial was taking place, and the murder of unarmed 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago.
“We will continue to work with our communities, our partners, and people across the country until we see an end to police violence and our communities have the resources they need to thrive,” said Lewis Webb, coordinator of AFSC’s healing justice work.
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.