Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff on the Conviction of Derek Chauvin

April 20 2021

Today, Center for Policing Equity CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff released the following statement on the conviction of Derek Chauvin:

Today’s verdict may be just, but it is not justice. No amount of accountability for Derek Chauvin can repair the devastation his murderous actions caused George Floyd’s family, the Minneapolis community, and everyone forced to grieve yet another life taken by those sworn to protect.

The accountability provided by today’s verdict is both necessary and insufficient. As we have said before, equitable systems of public safety can never take root without it. An acquittal — in a case this egregious, with the entire world as witnesses — would have permanently damaged any hope for the process of building a more just system.

Last June, I had the honor of testifying in Congress alongside George Floyd’s brother, Philonise. His charge to all of us that day, delivered from the depths of unimaginable grief, was simple: “Make sure that his death isn’t in vain.”

Holding one murderer accountable does not deliver justice for George Floyd and other victims of state-sponsored violence; only holding ourselves accountable for creating and maintaining the system that enabled Chauvin can bring us any closer. Every day, we collectively choose to continue responding to generations of discrimination and disinvestment with police violence. Every day, we could choose to work toward systems worthy of public trust instead. 

That long slog toward justice must, and will, remain our solemn commitment.


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.