Several candidates for Manhattan District Attorney have spoken about the trial and conviction involving the death of George Floyd. Alvin Bragg, who some consider to be uniquely positioned to make changes in the functioning of our criminal justice system, has addressed us with the following letter:
While yesterday’s verdict was a significant victory for police accountability, the Derek Chauvin trial did not deliver justice. George Floyd is still senselessly dead and our system is still deeply flawed.
Like many of us, I still couldn’t sleep last night. I thought about Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Delrawn Small, and Breonna Taylor. Adam Toledo, with his hands up. Army 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario, with pepper spray not only in his eyes, but dousing the very uniform he wears for our country. I thought about Emmett Till. I thought about my gunpoint stops by the police, and my children and your children. I prayed for us all.
Of course, I thought about George Floyd’s family. How they had to endure the defense trotting out the tired “Black bogeyman” defense — trying to put George Floyd, and not Derek Chauvin on trial. I am grateful that the jury rejected this and saw what we all saw: a gruesome killing.
Let us continue to reflect and honor George Floyd’s life. Let us also continue to work to dismantle a system that responds to an alleged counterfeit bill or an alleged traffic violation with militarized force. One rife with racial disparities. One where a police officer can put his knee on someone’s neck for over nine minutes, in broad daylight, and on video, and we still have to be on pins and needles waiting for a jury to decide what is obvious.
There is much work to be done. Let us grow not weary in our fight for justice.