On Tuesday, a jury in Minneapolis unanimously found the former police offer Derek Chauvin guilty for the murder of George Floyd, the 46-year-old man whose wrongful killing became a rallying cry within the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that swept the globe last summer against police brutality and racism. While many heralded the decision as a watershed moment, others were more cautiously optimistic, noting that while a just resolution had been reached in this specific case, the root problems that led to Floyd’s murder were far from solved.
While it was important to celebrate this victory on behalf of Floyd’s family, children, and partner Courteney Ross, there is still plenty more work to be done in the fight for racial equality. For those asking where to channel their efforts next, here are four ways you can keep up the momentum following Chauvin’s conviction.
Lobby your local lawmakers to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
At the beginning of March, the US House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the most ambitious police reform effort in several decades. Banning both chokeholds and “qualified immunity” for police officers, the legislation’s aim is to increase accountability for law enforcement and erase the legal loopholes that have allowed them to evade justice for wrongful conduct in the past.
While the act will face a tough road in passing through the Republican-majority Senate, where a similar bill failed to qualify last year, there is still hope that Rep. Karen Bass, the lead negotiator, can garner the necessary additional support. The ability to place pressure on your local senator may be dependent on your state, but if a critical mass of public opinion is reached within red states, there’s still the possibility that it could sway the vote. To find your local senator’s contact information, you can visit the official Senate website here.
Donate to the fund supporting Darnella Frazier
One of the most pivotal figures in ensuring the jury’s unanimous decision to convict was Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old who made the extraordinarily brave decision to film Floyd’s murder last year, providing irrefutable evidence of Chauvin’s guilt. Her powerful testimony during the trial only further underscored her courage. “When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, my brothers, my cousins, my uncles, because they are all Black,” Frazier said from the witness stand in March. “I look at how that could have been one of them.”