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Chauvin Sentence is Historic but Fails to Change History: Police Departments Themselves Must Face the Same Accountability Chauvin Did

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2021


Chauvin Sentence is Historic but Fails to Change History: Police Departments Themselves Must Face the Same Accountability Chauvin Did

NEW YORKRashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change, issued the following statement in response to the sentencing of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd: 

“While Derek Chauvin's 22.5-year sentence is an important measure of individual accountability, it does not equate to justice for George Floyd’s family or the millions of people across the country who protested this murder. Black people will not be safe in America until police accountability becomes the rule, not the exception, and until police departments themselves are held accountable for their racist and violent practices. Justice means stopping police violence before it happens, not merely punishing individual police officers for it once it’s done — we must fight and organize to end police terror in Black communities across this country.

“The guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial marked the first time in Minnesota state history that a white police officer was convicted for murdering a Black person. This verdict is historic and would not have happened without the sustained pressure from the Floyd family and the global uprising that was sparked by murder of George Floyd last summer. Even so, the verdict falls short of what the Floyd family wanted,and we also know that Chauvin being convicted and sentenced has not changed the culture of policing in this country in any substantive way. During Chauvin’s trial, police across this country murdered at least three people a day. 

“Today, Minneapolis still has largely the same violent, anti-Black police force it had when George Floyd was murdered.The Minneapolis Police Department itself has resisted the changes necessary to prevent racist policing from destroying more lives and forcing people to live in constant fear.

“Justice doesn’t come from a single trial or sentence — it comes from the major changes that will finally enable Black people to live freely and safely without the constant threat of police violence in their lives every day. That means we must continue to work to ensure that politicians follow through on their promises of major systemic reforms, that Black activists remain free to protest injustice, and that the public and media are not tricked by the lies of police departments and unions. We will not be free to take part fully in society’s opportunities and benefits, if we do not completely overhaul our approach to public safety and eliminate the racism that shapes every aspect of policing today.


Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit

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