SOPHE's statement and call to action in the verdict of Derek Chauvin
Call for reforms to end police brutality in Black and brown communities
April 22, 2021 – Washington, DC - On Tuesday, April 20, the Hennepin County District jury handed down the verdict
finding former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts of murder and manslaughter
in the brutal death of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, last May.
SOPHE is somber yet gratified for this watershed moment in our nation’s history. It has elevated the arc of social
justice concerning the long-established inequities in law enforcement in Black and brown communities.
Yet sadly it does not replace Mr. Floyd’s life or bring him back to his family or the community.
This monumental case propelled national and international attention to the problem of brutal, unequal police violence.
Our nation can no longer ignore the health and social impact of such brutality on Black and other minority
populations, such as poorer mental health, increased risk of chronic health conditions, greater years of life
lost, and generational trauma.
We call on lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels to address police reform and adopt, implement, and
enforce policies and evidence-based practices to eliminate law enforcement use of excessive force and increase
law enforcement accountability.
We must come together now as a nation to address structural racism
and the racial profiling that too often perpetuate violence at the hands of police and seize this opportunity
to move forward together.