For Immediate Release
April 20, 2021
Julia Friedmann, West End Strategy Team
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Reacts to Conviction of George Floyd’s Killer: Accountability for One Man, Systemic Change Critical
A commitment to justice and accountability is necessary to rebuild trust in police, reduce community gun violence
WASHINGTON — As the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was announced, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence welcomed the jury finding Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts and bringing a measure of accountability in the death of George Floyd. Reducing community gun violence requires strong trust between police and the communities they serve — a trust that is broken when police officers kill community members while not being held accountable for their actions. Our deepest thoughts are with the Floyd family today, and we sincerely hope that they find some solace and justice in today’s verdict.
Josh Horwitz, CSGV executive director, said:
“In many ways, this trial was not about just Derek Chauvin, but about the larger criminal justice system. Today’s verdict holds one man accountable, but by no means ensures major changes to a system that repeatedly allows police to evade accountability for the treatment of people living in the very communities police are sworn to serve and protect. As a first step, we urge the United States Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“Even after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis-area police shot and killed 20 year old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.
“The deaths of George Floyd and countless others at the hands of law enforcement are incredibly traumatic for the families and communities they impact and destroy the trust necessary to reduce community gun violence.”
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kami Chavis, professor of law and director of the criminal justice program at the Wake Forest University School of Law, and a special advisor to CSGV, said:
“Reducing community gun violence in our country requires cooperation among various stakeholders. Law enforcement cannot effectively investigate violent crime impacting individuals in those communities without the partnership of community members. Aggressive and racially-biased policing undermines trust between police and communities they serve, especially in Black communities and other communities of color. Building trust requires a law enforcement culture of transparency and citizen oversight so that community members see police as authentic partners who are genuinely concerned with what is best for the community. This includes a commitment from local and federal government to carry through on implementing police accountability measures even after the national spotlight is gone.
“Only through authentic partnership will witnesses engage with police to bring about justice and prevent retaliation. Alongside these changes, governments must increase investment in violence intervention and prevention programs that address the root causes of violence.”
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and its affilate organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, have an online resource library with more information about community gun violence, as well as state- and county-level statistics about gun deaths; extensive analysis of U.S. firearm homicide and firearm suicide; and research on gun violence prevention policies such as extreme risk protection laws and universal background checks.
About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. We believe gun violence should be rare and abnormal. CSGV develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms.