PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw have issued the following statements following the announcement of the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
“Today brings us one step closer toward justice. This verdict marks the moment we, as a nation, can begin the process of healing and unifying. It’s time to implement real and sustainable change to end racism, intolerance and police brutality against Black and Brown Americans. We must do this for George Floyd—and for all the generations of Americans who have been victimized because of the color of their skin.
“Still, we grieve for George Floyd. The verdict doesn’t change the fact that he should be alive today, and should at this very moment be enjoying his family and his freedom. He was robbed of that by an officer who had sworn to protect and serve, but instead carried out a heinous murder. So in George Floyd’s memory, in his honor, let us make this our moment to change our future, to build communities of respect and understanding. Because Black lives matter—not just in words and in our thoughts, but in our actions.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw:
“On May 25, 2020, the world witnessed the death of a citizen at the hands of police. This disturbing act not only ignited the long-suppressed emotions of thousands of people across the country, it stirred up the hurt felt by Black and Brown citizens who have been victimized and minimized for hundreds of years in the United States.
“Watching the actions (and inactions) of officers at the scene of his death has been enraging and devastating. As a mother, the loss of a child, no matter their age, is a hurt that I hope I never experience. My heart goes out to George Floyd’s family in their time of grief. This verdict will not bring their son back, but I hope they will find some comfort knowing that justice was indeed served.
“As a law enforcement official, I find the behavior that took George Floyd’s life abhorrent. After his death, the PPD, in conjunction with the Mayor’s office, worked on a set of reforms to improve police responses when using force and to improve trust within our community. Among those changes were immediately reporting any use of force over police radio, the banning of certain holds–particularly those that restrict or compromise an arrestee’s breathing, and the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) program.
“Although a verdict was reached today, I ask for calm. I ask for peace. Let us use this time to reflect on our justice system, what reforms have taken place, and the work still left to do.”