We join with our Sisters and Brothers in celebrating the jury’s verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George P. Floyd. Additionally, we mourn with the Bryant family over the death of their 16 year old daughter Ma’Khia at the hands of the police.
The continued murdering of Black and Brown People at the hands of the police is both traumatic and horrifying. This is evidence that there is an urgent need to reimagine policing/law enforcement systems across the country. The officer who murdered George P. Floyd used his power and authority as law enforcement to abuse and ultimately kill Mr. Floyd.
Even since the nationwide outcry against the murder of Mr. Floyd police have continued to kill unarmed Black and Brown men. It is past time to undertake fundamental restructuring at all levels of the criminal justice system. We have to tackle the systemic racism and ongoing problem of police violence against Blacks and other people of color.
We can and should start with a thorough analysis and examination of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the Breath Act. This would be an important step forward at the Federal level. However, real restructuring/change must take place at the local level. There must be serious Federal, State, and Local responses to the systemic racism in policing now!
Ronald Hampton is the Former Executive Director of the National Black Police Association and Coordinator of the Police Accountability and Justice Task Force of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century.