Senator Ronald L. Rice applauded the verdict, while issuing an exhortation for social justice work undone.
“I think from the testimony coming from the experts and listening to the witnesses from the community it was very clear,” said Rice, referring to Chauvin’s guilt. “I don’t think there could have been any other result in this case. The prosecution did a good job. I thought it was the right decision. I’m glad they came to that conclusion. There would have been a lot of troubles in the country if they hadn’t, but I also believe it is a signal and a message to New Jersey that we have to push criminal justice reform, especially on the part of women and minorities. We have to get our act together. This is another signal to the Black and Latino caucuses to continue to push for the civilian review board and residency laws for law enforcement personnel.”
Rice has long expressed frustration over key pieces of police reform legislation dying in committee.
“I do think residency will be a plus, so law enforcement can live in the community to get a better sense of the human cry,” said the veteran senator.
Larry Hamm, People’s Organization for Progress founder and director, said, “The jury did a great job;
they did a great job with the charges presented to them. Had a civilian done that it would have been a 1st degree murder case, of course, however, those were not the charges given. I hope this legal victory will give energy and impetus to the struggle for justice in America.
“his does not in any way exonerate the justice system,” the lifelong Essex County-based activist added. “Before the sun sets tonight the police will kill somebody else – but this is still a step forward. We won a battle but the war for police reform still goes on.
“We’ll be having a rally tomorrow,” Hamm added.
George Floyd was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020. That officer took over nine minutes to kill Mr. Floyd by slowly, deliberately, and publicly asphyxiating the handcuffed citizen. Make no mistake. George Floyd was a victim of lynching.
Now a jury has found that police officer guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter. This conviction is the direct result of progressive Democrats who elected Keith Ellison to Congress, and elevated him to Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and then to leadership in the Democratic National Committee. Now, as Attorney General of Minnesota, Ellison made it clear Minnesota would prosecute murderers who wore a blue uniform.
The greater injustice of systemic racism remains intact. Republican legislatures around the country are racing to restrict First Amendment rights of peaceful assembly and resist calls to transform our system of policing, ignoring the overarching problem of racism embedded in our country’s founding core.
We cannot achieve racial justice or economic justice or environmental justice until we deal openly with our country’s racist past that influences present policy decisions in all areas and levels of government.
For these reasons, PDA endorses Rep. Barbara Lee’s reintroduction of legislation to establish the nation’s first-ever U.S. Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Commission (H.Con.Res.19, with 136 cosponsors to date) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act (H.R.40, with 180 cosponsors to date). These resolutions and their companion bills in the Senate (S.Con.Res.6 and S.40, both introduced by Sen. Cory Booker) begin the critically needed process of healing America’s racial divide by providing venues to document and account for past actions and policies that have led us to present-day racial inequities, and seeking ways to redress the harm done by centuries of structural racism.