GGU President David J. Fike released a statement about the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict in the death of George Floyd.
GGU President David J. Fike released the following statement on April 20 regarding the Chauvin murder trial verdict:
Today, we saw what accountability looks like as Derek Chauvin was convicted on murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd.
I am heartened and relieved that the jurors displayed the courage needed to bring the heaviest weight of justice that they could on the Minneapolis police officer who so callously took his life.
The events of the 11 months since George Floyd was murdered have been both painful and necessary. We have known for a long time that institutional racism in our justice system regularly and sometimes brazenly takes the lives of Black and brown men and women—often with little, if any, accountability. What we saw over the past year, however, was a collective demand for reckoning. And, while some of these reactions and conversations have been uncomfortable, acknowledging and rectifying our personal and societal transgressions and weaknesses is the only way we can move forward as a country.
George Floyd is not just a symbol, however. He was a person—a brother, a son, a cousin, and a father. I hope today’s verdict brings some measure of peace for his family, those who knew him, and the many others of us who were deeply affected by his death. Within our immediate GGU community, please be mindful and supportive of the self-care and healing needs of you and your colleagues in the wake of the trauma associated with George Floyd’s death.
More broadly, I ask us all to recognize that while we can experience some relief in today’s verdict, this outcome falls short of the justice that Black and brown people in our community deserve. Had there been actual justice, George Floyd would have enjoyed as much a right to life as any of us. If we lived in a truly just society, we would not have to watch our community members needlessly dying at the hands of those charged with protecting us. We cannot rest until the system works for all us, not just some of us.
This is painfully slow work. But today, more so than yesterday, I am encouraged to believe that we might be up to the task.