Somerville: Joint Statement on Justice for George Floyd

Following months of speculation and uncertainty, yesterday’s guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd last May brought with it long-awaited accountability for Derek Chauvin’s actions. But while accountability is the first step toward justice, the full achievement of justice is measured through transformation.

It is about repair, dedication, and actions. Our thoughts continue to be with Mr. Floyd’s family and loved ones, who have had to endure unspeakable pain. Our hope is that when we look back at this moment in history, that this verdict will clearly mark a turning point toward broader accountability and progress in addressing systemic racism and its deadly consequences within law enforcement — as well as systemic racism in our society as a whole. We also hope the verdict offers a space for some relief from the trauma that this event and so many others have caused, particularly for our Black colleagues, friends, neighbors, and family members who continue to bear the burden of systemic racial injustices in communities across our nation.

As we contemplate the outcome of this trial and its potential implications for systemic change in our communities, we must also remember that our push for racial justice is not finished and must continue. The fact that there was so much uncertainty regarding the outcome of this very public case up until the verdict was read speaks volumes as to where we are as a nation in this critical work. While this verdict may offer a glimmer of hope in this moment, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the loss of Black and Brown lives during police encounters and related aggressions and violence against persons of color continue to occur with disturbing regularity. We must recognize the incredible collective trauma that these events cause especially for our youth and in particular persons of color. Our schools are prepared to support students and staff as they return from April break next week in processing the outcome of this trial and its potential implications in our continuing fight for racial justice. Our city and community also remain steadfastly committed to advancing our efforts to confront and root out racism and bias in all our institutions and structures.

As an anti-racist community, we must continue to prioritize our efforts to address systemic racism directly and work together to build a community that values every member and the lived experiences we each bring. Over the next few months, we will be sharing some of the equity and anti-racism work we have been doing in our schools and in our city, and hope you will join us in our continued push for racial justice.

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone
City Council President Matthew McLaughlin
School Committee Chair Andre Green
Superintendent of Schools Mary Skipper

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