This week justice was served. A historic and important message was conveyed through the guilty sentencing of Derick Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd over a year ago; a potential first step in shifting our justice system. Of the 1,127 times that police officers killed people in the United States in 2020, just 16 (1%) resulted in a conviction.* And Black men are roughly 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police over the life course than are white men.** This week was monumental and we are supportive of the decision to hold this former officer accountable.
Simultaneously we must acknowledge that this verdict does not bring George Floyd back to his family. It does not solve the cruelty and injustice Black folks continue to face daily in our country, nor does it ensure that our African American communities feel safe. And while a correct step, it should not be mistaken as an elimination of racism within our criminal justice system.
On behalf of the Executive Team, we hope this begins the process of healing and is a catalyst for additional change in our country. As an organization amidst strategic planning, we should feel even more committed to our focus on racial equity and social determinants of health. Through our emerging 3-year strategies we will continue to support economic opportunity for those who have been marginalized and to advocate for the systemic changes we need to see to ensure all people feel safe and welcome in our community.
Carly Hood-Ronick, MPA, MPH, Executive Director Jennie Leslie, MD, Board Chair