It has been nearly a year since George Floyd was killed by police, more than a year since Breonna Taylor was killed by police, and mere days since Daunte Wright was killed. We could mark almost daily anniversaries of deaths of Black and brown people at the hands of police: Atatiana Jefferson, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Tansiha Fonville, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, and too many others. We grieve today, again, for their loss and all others who have been wounded or killed by police. We recognize and support the communities who show strength and courage in the struggle to reform and reimagine our criminal legal system and the very meaning of public safety.
The verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd stands for more than just the holding of one jury, but the urgent desire to see even the smallest degree of accountability for the taking of a life, where historically police violence is exercised with near-complete impunity. Ultimately, what we care about is the safety and health of our communities, and an equitable process to actually deliver these goals. In many of our most well-resourced and privileged neighborhoods, it is the absence of police that is most notable, while their presence in BIPOC communities can be a consistent and terrorizing one. Impact Justice dares to dream of a humane and restorative system of justice in the United States, and we at Impact Justice claim this moment to recommit to our work in solidarity with the communities most impacted by the profoundly imbalanced and unfair criminal legal system.