STATEMENT FROM TASHA D. YOUNG IN RESPONSE TO GUILTY VERDICT AGAINST DEREK CHAUVIN IN MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD:
At last, justice has been served for George Floyd and his family. A jury has delivered a verdict on the Chauvin trial: guilty on all three counts. The blue wall of silence came down for a moment as we watched testimony after testimony from current police officers as to the excessive uses of force by their former colleague, Derek Chauvin.
We can breathe.
But a single breath is not enough to sustain life.
The relief turns into a profound and heavy grief as we ask ourselves, would there have been a guilty verdict without the 9 minutes and 29 seconds of video playing on several screens of the courtroom, including audio of Floyd gasping, "I can't breathe”?
We do not have to wonder what would have happened without the video. Minneapolis Police Department issued a press release on the morning after George Floyd’s murder, before the bystander video went viral. That mundane-seeming statement read, “Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.” Retrieved from: Man Dies After Medical Incident During Minneapolis Police Interaction | Minneapolis, MN Patch, on April 20, 2021.
The crime of George Floyd's murder is not on one person. How many officers at the scene confirmed that press release in their reports? What system allows untruths to proceed as fact? What do we do about the many deaths without bystander videos? How will we make change?
I can breathe. We can breathe. With each breath we must speak up and work together, publicly and privately, to repair our wounds and reform our trust, with the goal of public safety for all.
You're on my mind,
Democratic Candidate for Supervisor, Town of Greenburgh