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Statement by Mayor Jenny A. Durkan on the Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial in Minneapolis

Seattle (April 20, 2021) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement regarding the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trail:  

“The jurors and our system of justice have confirmed what we saw with our own eyes. George Floyd was murdered and Derek Chauvin violated his most solemn duty to protect lives and uphold the law. The cruel and degrading murder of Mr. Floyd shook our nation but for too many Black Americans, his murder reflected an all too often reality of the deep and systemic impacts of racism in our country.  

“True justice demands that we admit, recognize and work to address those systemic inequities. True justice would have meant that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and countless others never suffered this fate. Although he should still be here today, jurors delivered justice for George Floyd’s friends, family, loved ones and the millions of Americans who mourned and marched for justice.”  

“Though this trial is over, and we await justice to be served at the time of sentencing, the work to dismantle institutional racism in our country has far to go. Just as John Lewis and others trying to cross a bridge in Selma decade ago galvanized a nation, the murder of George Floyd showed too clearly how much was left undone. Just since this trial began, Daunte Wright was stopped and died at the hands of police just mere miles from where Mr. Floyd himself was killed. We must demand better than this everywhere in our country.  

“Our country must acknowledge and work to dismantle the reality of institutional racism and its insidious impacts on all aspects of our society, including policing. Our country must work to ensure that the promise of America really is available to all Americans. Our country must work to ensure true justice and access to education, employment, healthcare and prosperity. Every family deserves to build generational opportunity instead of intergenerational trauma or despair. We have made some systemic changes in Seattle including new alternatives in policing and historic investments in Black, Indigenous and people of color communities. That work will continue. 

“Our community has been through a lot of pain and grief in the last year. In the coming days, many in the community will peacefully come together to remember the life of Mr. Floyd, express themselves, and experience community with one another. As always, we will do all we can to protect the cherished right to assemble and express first amendment rights, but we will also make sure we maintain public safety, protect people, and protect the safety of every community.”