In the quest for justice, the guilty verdict involving the trial of Derek Chauvin in the brutal killing of George Floyd is a victory in the long and enduring struggle for freedom and equality. The Shaw University Center for Racial and Social Justice joins the thousands of people across the nation in applauding the prosecutors and jurors in rendering a verdict that speaks to the protests and public outrage at the death of George Floyd. But we know the struggle continues. The battle for police reform and creating healthy and safe communities is far from over.
In this moment we are reminded that we must pay attention to the roots of our policing system as we support the call for police reform. We must acknowledge that our current public policing system arises out of merchants’ transferring financial support to the public for the “collective good” and the preservation of the US system of slavery before the Civil War. Today we live with the consequences of this foundation.
There is still an urgent need to continue our collective work dismantling the stagnating structures of systemic racism to include policing, gun violence, and the broader system of mass incarceration. Martin Luther King Jr., years ago, reminded us that “justice delayed is often justice denied.” So, the present moment is calling us to reassert our commitment to public safety in a manner that honors the dignity and sacredness of all human life, regardless of race, creed, color. May this verdict make way for broader and sweeping reforms for the present and future generations.
We extend our prayerful support to the George Floyd family during this moment and stand in solidarity with the millions around the world who have been eagerly praying for justice and equality.