April 21, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Keli Young, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mariah McGough, email@example.com, 203-470-9979
VOCAL-NY STATEMENT ON THE CONVICTION OF THE OFFICER WHO MURDERED GEORGE FLOYD
In the Wake of the Derek Chauvin Conviction, Local Activists Will Protest at Foley Square at 6PM Tonight to Hold NYPD Officers Accountable for Killing New Yorkers
NEW YORK — Following Tuesday’s conviction of the former-Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd, and ahead of a protest tonight at Foley Square where activists will demand similar accountability for New Yorkers killed by the NYPD, VOCAL-NY released the statement attributable to Keli Young, Civil Rights Campaign Coordinator with VOCAL-NY:
“While Derek Chauvin was being prosecuted for the murder of George Floyd, police officers across the country killed at least 64 more people, the majority of whom were Black and Latinx. This included Daunte Wright, who was killed by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop less than 10 miles from Chauvin’s trial. One guilty verdict, against the backdrop of 64 more police killings, against the backdrop of centuries of police violence and brutality reigned down upon Black people is hardly a step forward.
While Derek Chauvin was being prosecuted for the murder of George Floyd, NYPD’s internal investigation declared that there was no wrongdoing on behalf of the officers who, two years ago, broke into Kawaski Trawick’s home, tased, shot, and killed him while he was cooking.
Black lives are not disposable. Our murders are not sacrifices, talking points, or symbols of progress. Yesterday’s conviction was accountability but it is not justice. For every guilty conviction following a police killing, we know that countless more go unprosecuted, acquitted, and even unreported.
In NYC, we are still demanding accountability for so many who have been killed by police, including Mohamed Bah, Allan Feliz, Eric Garner, Kawaski Trawick, Delrawn Small, and Antonio Williams. And even that isn’t enough. Justice demands the dismantling of the systems that perpetuate violence and terror against Black people and dare to call it ‘sacrifice.’”
The conviction on Derek Chauvin comes after continued violence by police against Black and Brown people across the country. Just hours before the start of Derek Chauvin’s trial, Chicago police shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo while he had his hands up. Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by former officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop not even 10 miles away from where the trial was taking place. And during the announcement of conviction against Derek Chauvin, Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl was killed by police in Columbus, Ohio.
And while Derek Chauvin was being prosecuted for the murder of George Floyd, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark refused to indict the NYPD officers who, in 2019, beat and killed Antonio Williams while he was waiting for a cab. It was an encounter so reckless that officers killed one of their own.
According to President Biden, Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction is “a giant step forward.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi characterized George Floyd’s death as a willful “sacrifice” even as a jury declared it murder, even as we heard him beg for his life. Both sentiments reflect a refusal by those in power to accept the magnitude of the problem.