Public Advocate's Statement On The Anniversary Of George Floyd's Death

May 25th, 2021

Press Release

"One year ago today, George Floyd was murdered on a Minneapolis street, and on camera. When the world witnessed his death, it launched a protest movement of a scale and scope unlike any we've seen in decades - and this anniversary asks us to reflect on where we've been, where we are, where we're going.

"In a year, we've seen the beginning of a long overdue national reckoning on racial injustices, demanded through activism across the country. But we've also seen many assert, whether through intention or ignorance, that Black lives matter less than white privilege. We've seen rising bigotry, and hateful voices condemn George Floyd in death, and condemn the movement his death inspired. We've seen the path before us on the moral arc toward justice, but also how far that arc still stretches. We've seen so, so many more Black lives lost.

"And while we heard millions declare a year ago that Black Lives Matter, it seems that removed from the moment, many of those voices have quieted in confronting the challenge of real change. It's vital that we not allow leaders to take a knee without then taking action. To use symbolic steps as a means of slowing or stopping real progress on injustices and public safety.

"It's critical to acknowledge that while George Floyd's death spurred a movement, while we lift up his name in the cause of justice, that he did not sacrifice his life. It was stolen from him. And when we talk about Justice for George Floyd, it doesn't simply mean consequences for Derek Chauvin. It means the kind of transformational change that would have kept George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Ma'Khia Bryant, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Ramarley Graham, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, and too many others, alive. And that's change we'll still be pursuing for many more anniversaries."

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