By Alex Lasry
We all held our breath this week as we waited for the jury to reach its verdict in Minneapolis.
On the rare occasion that charges have been filed in cases like these, too many times, jurors have failed to hold police officers accountable.
Not this week.
The three guilty verdicts moved us one step closer to a more just America.
But, it was only one step.
Justice for George Floyd and his family still does not erase what happened to him and what has happened in so many other cases across our country.
George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in broad daylight and the whole incident was caught on video. Yet, we were still holding our breath awaiting the outcome. There was video of the murder, and it still took public outrage for Derek Chauvin to be charged and held accountable.
I would ask the question “who knows what would have happened if there wasn’t a video?” However, we all already know the answer: another Black person would have been murdered at the hands of the police; and yet again, the officer responsible would not have been held accountable for his actions.
We need real police reform, and we need it now. Not minor tweaks, but systemic change. Congress has the power to deliver comprehensive police reform to communities across this country and it’s time for them to act. They can start by ending qualified immunity and passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Unfortunately, we all know what’s going to happen next in Washington. Even though the House of Representatives passed this bill, it is already stuck in the Senate. As long as people like Ron Johnson are in Washington, nothing will change. Legislators like Ron Johnson adamantly oppose police reform because they truly don’t believe that there is any problem that needs fixing.
Anybody that doesn’t recognize that we have an urgent need for police reform in this country and how desperately Americans want it should not be representing Wisconsinites. People across this country are out there in the streets marching and doing all that they can to call attention to this problem, it’s time for Congress to do all that they can to fix it.
Until then, we can’t stop marching for Black lives, and we must always stand with those who are fighting for change. For so many, this trial reopened a wound. Take care of yourselves and your neighbors as we continue to fight for justice.