Last summer, the world witnessed the exponential regrowth of the Black Lives Matter movement, following the tragic murder of George Floyd. Many people gained a new awareness of some of the injustices Black people have historically faced and continue to face in our society. Through hard conversations and education, it seemed as though a change was in the air and that the United States was on a path to a reckoning of hundreds of years of racist policing policies.
But since then, we’ve seen more senseless killings of Black or brown people at the hands of police. Hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders has risen, fueled by racist rhetoric and scapegoating. The pandemic has highlighted age-old racial disparities in access to and delivery of quality health care.
Everyone, regardless of where we live or what we look like, deserves basic human rights and dignity. Working people have come together across differences, in this union, to fight for a better future for all families. SEIU has an active and ongoing effort to build cross-racial solidarity because we know that we cannot achieve economic justice without racial justice—they are inextricably linked.
Across the country, law enforcement (including many SEIU members) are charged with keeping our communities safe and upholding the public’s trust. When that trust is broken, we must use our collective power to create change. Public safety and dignity should be afforded to all people. No one should be thrown away.
Today’s verdict reinforces our commitment to fighting racism and to building a better society for all people. Our work towards racial and economic justice and police accountability doesn’t end with one court case and one officer. We will continue partner with community organizations and allies to press for accountability and systemic changes across the criminal legal system.