For the first time, we witnessed accountability for the murder of George Floyd. A guilty verdict has come down, confirming what we had all seen before our eyes and watched in horror last May. Former police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. We applaud the brave acts taken by those who helped bring the truth to light of what happened on May 25, 2020. From testifying against a fellow officer to holding a camera so steady that there was no mistaking what had happened and forcing the world to bear witness to the injustices of this country. Our hearts go out to George Floyd’s family and loved ones and we join them in grieving a world without him.

As union leaders, we marched outside our hospitals last summer. We joined our communities to organize and demand that George Floyd’s life be valued. We have refused to endorse political candidates who receive donations from police unions and have committed to provide legal assistance to CIR members arrested during peaceful protests. This verdict had to be fought for but it is not true justice. Justice is a world where George Floyd would not only still be alive but thriving. We must do all that we can to dismantle white supremacy and everything it has built. We do not need additional law enforcement trainings or reforms but to reimagine policing and our public safety. One correct verdict is not a substitute for policy change or for holding the entire system accountable. 

As physicians, the well-being of our fellow people is most important to us and we know we must build communities where everyone can thrive. The work continues and we are committed to working for a world where we can all be safe and live with dignity.