W.A.R.E.'s Responses to the Derek Chauvin Verdict
The murder conviction of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd Jr. is a great relief for all of us. However, it does not guarantee equity for all people and does not return countless people killed at the hand of law enforcement.
Wayne County needs to do better to protect its residents than what has been accomplished in its Police Reform plan. There must be a concerted effort by all to address the bigotry that pervades our society.
John L Ghertner, MD
In Praise of Heroes
Like so many times before, the Derik Chauvin guilty verdict illustrates that it is the children who often lead adults to “do the right thing”. Without teenager, Darnella Frazier’s (17) video, Chauvin would be walking free today. Her singular action, now seen by millions around the world, galvanized police officers, government officials and racial justice activists alike.
Ms. Frazier was not alone:
o Alisha Oyter (17) who had the audacity to also video tape what she saw as a dangerous behavior by police and sending the video to the police.
o Alyssa Funari (17), Kaylinn Gilbert (17) and Judeah Reynolds (9) who testified in court to what they witnessed.
o Christopher Martin (19), CUPS Store clerk, who gave emotional testimony of his regret for the final outcome that resulted from his call over $20.
WARE applauds each of them and lifts up their names for the world to see.
Their voices were joined by adult eyewitnesses who also testified like Firefighter Genevieve Hansen who had intervened at the scene with her knowledge and 911 Dispatcher Jena Scurry who viewed police cameras and sent word that something was not right that day. It is reasonable to conclude that, without Ms. Frazier’s video, Minneapolis Police Department officials from MPD Chief, Medaria Arradondo, MPD Homicide Unit Head, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, and MPD Use of Force Trainer, Johnny Mercil may not have given testimony that certainly influenced the final guilty verdict.
Their actions did not save George Floyd but THEY are moral role models for us all.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE FOLKS WHO SPOKE UP TO POWER, WHO DOCUMENTED WHAT HAPPENED AND WHO TESTIFIED ABOUT WHAT THEY SAW THE POLICE DO THE DAY GEORGE FLOYD WAS MURDERED ARE HEROES. A PUBLIC MONUMENT IN FRONT OF THE CUPS STORE PAID FOR BY THE CITY AND THE MINNEAPOLIS PD WOULD BE A FITTING TRIBUTE TO THEIR CIVIC HEROISM AND A BEACON TO THE WORLD.
Today in Minnesota a jury agreed with nearly everyone else who saw Officer Chauvin kill George Floyd and convicted. While it was a welcome outcome and was achieved in part by a breakdown of the Blue Wall of Silence, one verdict cannot erase Mr. Floyd's death or truly address the pain and horror of the deeply rooted history of violent racial discrimination in this country. A long and arduous path remains in front of us. But today, perhaps we have taken one small step as a country towards demonstrating that black lives do, in fact, matter.
Andrew Correia, Wayne County Public Defender
We are pleased with the verdict of the jury. Maybe it is the beginning of justice for all.
The paragraph below is a small part of a statement from the National Spiritual Assembly of the USA.
Thank you for your service.
Doreen and Allen
"To create a just society begins with recognition of the fundamental truth that humanity is one.
But it is not enough simply to believe this in our hearts. It creates the moral imperative to act, and to
view all aspects of our personal, social, and institutional lives through the lens of justice.
It implies a reordering of our society more profound than anything we have yet achieved. And it requires the
participation of Americans of every race and background, for it is only through such inclusive participation that
new moral and social directions can emerge.”
The Bahá’ís of the United States