Center for Policing Equity on the Sentencing of Derek Chauvin

June 21 2021

Today, the Center for Policing Equity released the following statement on the sentencing of Derek Chauvin, convicted for the murder of George Floyd:

Today, Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. This marks the culmination of a tragedy, but it does not mark the end. It is not equal justice. His sentencing does not dilute the anguish that his murderous actions caused George Floyd’s loved ones, the Minneapolis community, and our nation. And punishment — even of someone who murders — never makes a community whole.

As we move to make lasting changes to our criminal legal system, we must remember accountability and the fight for justice are not synonymous. Holding one murderer accountable does not deliver justice for George Floyd and other victims of state-sponsored violence across this country; only holding ourselves accountable for creating and maintaining the system that enabled Chauvin can bring us any closer.

There is no quick fix to this systemic failure. It requires a holistic reimagining of public safety that gives us tools to care for vulnerable communities beyond coercion, detention, and force. Our focus is on creating a clean partition between the policing that was built to uphold slavery and Jim Crow, and the public safety we need now — as we honor the memory of every life extinguished and every community hurt. 

Our purpose is a future in which public safety looks and functions equitably for everyone. We commit to working tirelessly to help communities across the nation create a lived reality that reimagines public safety for everyone.


About Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action organization, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in public safety. Using data-driven approaches to social justice, we use science to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.