For Immediate Release: February 24, 2022
COLOR OF CHANGE: CONVICTIONS OF FORMER POLICE OFFICERS FOR THE MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD MARKS ANOTHER IMPORTANT STEP TOWARD ACCOUNTABILITY
Rashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change, issued the following statement after a Hennepin County jury found former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kuenng guilty for their roles in the murder of George Floyd:
“These convictions mark an important first step toward accountability for former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng in the unconscionable murder of George Floyd. This jury finally recognized in a court of law what we have always known to be true: the rules of policing are what make it racist, not just individual officers. Mayors and lawmakers continue to support a system that rewards police for consistently doing harm to Black people. That’s how policing in America is set up to work and those are the outcomes it produces. If we don’t change those rules, we won’t change those outcomes. This jury is saying that those rules need to change. No jury verdict can make up for the injustice of Mr. Floyd’s death, but we hope that today’s decision provides some comfort to the Floyd family, who bravely fought to see these men held accountable.
“This trial was always about accountability – not justice – and it would never have happened without the activism and public outrage of racial justice activists. Now, while it’s important that these former officers face the consequences for their role in George Floyd’s murder, we must remain focused on building a just system that prevents this violence from happening at all.
“The injustice of George Floyd’s death is about more than a single instance of police brutality; it’s about an entire policing culture that dismisses acts of racial violence. In Minneapolis, the policing system kills Black people at a rate 22 times higher than white people – and it’s only the third-largest disparity in anti-Black police violence nationwide. As we’ve seen in countless instances of police violence, including the murder of 22-year-old Amir Locke by Minneapolis police officers just weeks ago, one verdict against one officer or even a group of officers won’t stem the tide of anti-Black police violence.
“Protecting Black people, restoring Black communities, and delivering justice requires more than a trial. Communities across the country are pushing for solutions that keep Black communities, and all of us truly safe. We will continue to demand that leaders at every level of government invest in community solutions like housing, education, mental health care, and violence interruption that actually protect Black people and ensure that all communities are safe.”
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 www.colorofchange.org