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Brady Joins Calls for Systemic Changes to Policing in America, Following Guilty Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial

This verdict must serve as another wake-up call for our entire nation to create new public safety systems that do not terrorize and kill Black and Brown Americans.

Washington. D.C., April 20, 2021 - Following the decision in the trial of Derek Chauvin, Brady joins with activists and communities across the country who have called for justice in this case and today received it. We should not have had to have this trial at all, as George Floyd should still be alive. He should not have been murdered by a man sworn to protect the public. This verdict cannot undo the murder of George Floyd or the pain that his family has felt. We need systemic change to our policing systems to prevent such tragedies. Because police violence is facilitated by the direct use, threat or perceived threat of firearms, we must recognize police violence as gun violence. This verdict must serve as another wake-up call for our entire nation to create new public safety systems that do not terrorize and kill our fellow Americans. We cannot accept a system that allowed for the murder of George Floyd or that continues to kill Black and Brown Americans.

Brady Director of Racial Justice Kelly Sampson shared:


“George Floyd should be alive today. Period. That would be true justice, but today’s verdict does bring some measure of justice for his family and an opportunity for systemic change. We cannot accept the status quo when it comes to policing in America. By some measures, there have only been three days in 2021 where someone was not killed by police. We know that this violence disproportionately affects Black and Brown Americans. Police are more than two times more likely to kill Black Americans than white Americans. Native Americans are 3.1 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans. This is not society.

We are capable of creating a society where George Floyd would still be alive today. Where Duane Wright would be alive today. Where Adam Toledo would be able to live more than 13 years on this earth. Where Breonna Taylor would not be shot in her bed.

We must remember their names and we must honor their memories with action. We need systemic change. True justice cannot be handed down by a jury when the system that facilitated the crime remains intact. Today must be a new beginning for the effort to create systemic change in our policing systems. We cannot accept any more young girls having to see their father’s ‘change the world.’ We cannot accept a country where any one of us can’t breathe. If the air is poisonous for one of us, it is poisonous to us all.”

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“Today’s verdict is an important first step towards demanding accountability and change when it comes to policing in America. We need systemic change that creates a public safety system that does not kill our fellow citizens. Black and Brown Americans have been calling for changes to policing for years. It is far beyond time that our nation listens to their calls. Today, Brady joins with the many activists across the country who have demanded justice in this case, and so many others, for years. This verdict does not create justice for George Floyd or for the other victims of police violence across the country, but it brings us one step closer to creating change. Brady joins with these same activists in demanding clear and actionable steps from local, state, and the federal government, such as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act already before Congress. This is an opportunity to create real change and make a more just and equitable nation. We must seize it.”

Facts About Police Violence:

We must also acknowledge that Americans do not experience gun violence equally. While gun violence affects every community, it is an indisputable fact that gun violence disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities. To look at the full picture of gun violence in America accurately requires this critical lens. In the United States, where you live often determines if you live — and we cannot accept that. According to CDC data, Black people are 10 times more likely to die from gun homicide as white people. That same data shows us that black youth under 19 fare even worse; they are fourteen times more likely than their white counterparts to die from gun homicide. The life expectancy for Black men was reduced by four years because of gun violence. Polling shows that 57 percent of African Americans personally know someone who has been shot either accidentally or intentionally, compared to 43 percent of white respondents. The effects of this reality are pernicious, including lifelong trauma and stress that tangibly and negatively affect Black and Brown communities and individuals. It is impossible to discuss gun violence without addressing this reality, as any real solutions must account for and seek to correct this systemic inequality.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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