Press Release on Justice for George Floyd

It took a Minneapolis police officer nine minutes and 29 seconds to squeeze the life out of George Floyd. 

It took a jury 11 hours to find that officer guilty of Floyd’s murder. 

A judge has eight weeks to decide how many years former officer Derek Chauvin will spend in prison. 

How long will it take to reinvent American policing, so that “to serve and protect’’ is more than an empty slogan in communities of color? That depends on all Americans’ determination to demand and enable systemic change in policing, said PCDP Chair Bonnie Heidler.

“The Pima County Democratic Party is encouraged that in George Floyd’s case, a jury delivered justice,’’ Heidler said. “But we know that this victory is largely symbolic unless all police agencies commit to rooting out racists in their departments and replacing excessive force with non-violent public safety practices.’’ 

Heidler said that PCDP agrees with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris that Congress must pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which Harris has said “would hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities. This bill is part of George Floyd’s legacy.’’

“The bill prescribes concrete measures to prohibit racial profiling,’’ Heidler noted. “It lowers the criminal-intent standard for police convictions and enables victims of police violence to sue individual officers. It should go a long way to reassuring communities of color that America can live up to its promise of justice for all.’’

She added that PCDP “not only expects Arizona’s U.S. Senators to fight for this important bill’s passage, but that anyone running for office as a Democrat in Pima County will commit to fighting for racial equity in all aspects of community life.’’  

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