April 21, 2021
As news broke yesterday that Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, we had only a couple of hours to reflect on accountability, justice and what this might mean for efforts to reimagine our country’s law enforcement system before reports started coming in about a police officer shooting and killing Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black child in Columbus, Ohio. It seems that key moments that provide signs of progress toward a better future are often punctuated by an event that reminds us how far we have to go.
Following George Floyd’s murder, due to the advocacy of new and long-time social justice activists, the movement to address police violence against Black and Brown communities picked up speed. In California, policies like AB392 (2019) have been passed for improved police oversight and accountability, but we have yet to see the impacts of these laws. In fact, there have been 319 deaths by law enforcement officers in the United States in the first four months of 2021 alone.
With the deaths of Daunte Wright, Stephon Clark, Adam Toledo, Jayne Thompson, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and many others still so fresh in our memories and hearts, we seek and find hope in the commitment of advocates, families and our partners in communities across California to continue to fight for equitable and just public safety systems.
Sierra Health Foundation and The Center stand together with them and with you — heartbroken, steadfast and ready to continue the work to dismantle racism, transform systems, build power among the most impacted and create a world where safety and opportunity are provided to everyone.