On April 20, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on May 29, 2020.
With the Chauvin verdict, a jury of our peers acted as the voice and conscience of our community, and was able to provide some relief to George Floyd’s family and the millions of people who protested his death in the last year.
This verdict marks a first step in addressing ongoing systemic racism. We hope that this case marks the beginning of an improved justice system, working fairly one step at a time, and that people can have greater faith in the justice system going forward.
This day of reckoning and justice served are long overdue, but the fact remains that our communities are suffering. The tragic and horrific death of George Floyd, and many others, serve as a stark reminder that racial inequity, civil rights violations, and unnecessary loss of human life continue to take place. Our society is rightfully outraged at the continuing injustices occurring in communities of color. Change starts with one guilty verdict and does not reflect the end of the struggle.
In just our work, we see how racial inequity pervades the legal sphere, making it difficult for people from communities of color to stay in their homes, stay out of debt, feel safe, and even get an attorney to talk to them. The pandemic has only exacerbated these inequities.
It’s not fair and it needs to change.
At CARPLS, we share feelings of outrage at these injustices and stand with those who demand that we must no longer accept the status quo. We want you to know that CARPLS stands with you as your advocate. For 27 years, we have battled injustice by helping low- and middle-income residents navigate their legal problems. Today, we are working harder than ever to drive change in the face of systematic racism, internally and externally with our partners.
We are in this together. We hope that this one step towards justice is a roadmap for great change to come.
If you have any questions, please contact me at gro.s1621157765lprac1621157765@ofni1621157765.
Allen C. Schwartz
CARPLS Executive Director