Statement of Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota
Change is long overdue to a system that has delivered unequal justice to far too many in our state for far too long. In the year since the tragic murder of George Floyd, we have seen the conviction of Mr. Floyd’s murderer, but Minnesotans are still waiting for justice. Minnesotans deserve real reforms to prevent what happened to Mr. Floyd, and others, from ever happening again. Our legislative leaders must make commonsense policing reforms a top priority and they must not come up short again.
The people of Minnesota are demanding change and we expect our elected leaders to deliver it. This is not a demand for special treatment. This is a demand for basic human rights, for accountability, and for justice for each and every Minnesotan.
Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
In the year since George Floyd’s brutal and senseless murder, the nation has looked in the mirror and begun a serious discussion, but we need action and we need progress and we need them now before any more lives are needlessly lost. We have seen the conviction of the former Minneapolis police officer who murdered Mr. Floyd, but it’s not enough to address the longstanding and pervasive problems that led to his tragic death. As a nation we must do more to grapple with the realities of racism, unchecked police brutality, and the lack of police accountability that continues to claim the lives of far too many Black and Brown people. We must combat those cancers within in our nation and we must prevail.
The horrible and unnecessary deaths at the hands of police officers have continued since the murder of George Floyd and they have continued since the conviction of his murderer. As we mark the anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s death, we must redouble our efforts to bring about systemic change. We must push for reforms at the local level, at the state level, and at the federal level. We must push for true and equal justice under the law for every American, regardless of the color of their skin.
Statement of Keshia Morris Desir, Common Cause Census and Mass Incarceration Project Manager
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Sandra Bland, Adam Toledo, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin and the countless other people that have been murdered by police and vigilantes are not just victims, or rallying cries for justice, they are people, they are Americans, they are brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. They had hopes; they had dreams – and they should be alive today. In the name of George Floyd, and in the names of countless other Black and Brown Americans needlessly and heartlessly taken before their time, we need to address this national crisis head on. It is imperative that that Congress set in motion long-overdue reforms by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.
At Common Cause we strongly support legislation that will combat police misconduct, the use of excessive force, and racial bias in policing. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 will prohibit no-knock warrants for drug offenses, ban chokeholds and police profiling and put in place standards to bring accountability to policing in our nation. It will create a national use of force standard, establish a national police misconduct registry and it will end qualified immunity, and make it easier to prosecute police officers for misconduct.
It is long-past time to enact these common-sense reforms that can begin to bring about substantive changes and stem the tide of police racism and brutality in our nation. Far more must be done, at the local, state, and national level but this legislation represents a first step. It is a first step that we must take for the good of the nation, and it is a first step that we must take now.