Statement of Sam Ogundare, Assistant Director of Common Cause Rhode Island
on behalf of Common Cause Rhode Island
Yesterday, a jury found the Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes, 29 seconds guilty on all charges.
While the verdict gives us an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief, we must still fight for true justice, equality, equity, and fairness for Black communities and everyone in our country.
This ruling is a step in the right direction, but it is accountability, not justice. Justice would be if George Floyd, the father of Giana Floyd and partner of Courtney Ross, were still alive.
Justice has become a thing of make-believe for many Black people in the United States, due to similar trials never going in our favor.
While we acknowledge this historic verdict, we must remember that justice has been denied to Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and countless other people of color. We still have a lot of work to do to shift the balance of power, demand accountability, stop police violence, and ensure that Black people and all people of color have every opportunity to participate in our democracy.
We must acknowledge that systemic racism has been ingrained in the fabric of the United States since its founding. If we are indifferent at this pivotal time in our history, we become enablers by default.
Common Cause Rhode Island stands for accountability, fairness, transparency and everyone being treated equitably which means we must fight racism wherever it exists: in our communities, at the ballot box, in our justice system, and in our legislative bodies.
Common Cause Rhode Island members have called on Congress to strengthen and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would restrict chokeholds, police profiling, and no-knock warrants. It would also ensure police officers who commit a crime can be held accountable and stop the rampant militarization of many police departments.
Passing the Act would not provide true ‘justice’ for George Floyd’s family. But it would be a step in the right direction for Black families now, and for decades to come.