The Path Forward is a diverse coalition that stands together in pursuit of racial justice, systemic and structural change in our country.
As stated in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” We write now to express our strongest support for the verdict, which affirms these values, and was an act of American accountability, fairness and justice.
Verdicts do not happen in a vacuum and we acknowledge relative to this case that it is only a beginning, not an end. The Bible tells us: “Justice, justice shall you pursue” (Deut 16:20). Why is “justice” mentioned twice? To teach us that we should pursue just ends through just means. This trial demonstrated a powerful reason why. The care and rigor of the prosecution, the judge, and the jury ensured that there was a just result and that there was no doubt of Derek Chauvin’s guilt. It is to this end that The Path Forward exists: to support the necessary change for prosecutorial resources, equitable laws, and community engagement which becomes the incubator for just outcomes in unjust scenarios.
We are all seared by the unspeakable image of Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck, and of other officers standing idly by the blood of Mr. Floyd. This moment is captured in a video that will never get easier to watch, for so many reasons. Yet at least now a well-executed legal process has concluded with a just outcome.
While the result of this trial brings us some measure of relief, our prayers continue. We pray hard that this kind of justice becomes standard and expected, that equitable outcomes no longer feel like a surprise or special occasion. We pray that we can learn from each of the circumstances that led to the murder of George Floyd, and that we adopt policies and procedures to ensure that we never even get close to such a situation happening again. We pray for the continual improvement in the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. We pray that all people may feel safe and secure in their communities.
We yearn for, and are committed to working towards, a system and a society that affords everyone the opportunity to realize their dreams, fulfill their potential and flourish as God intends. And now, we are gratified to be able to say: this verdict was an important step in the direction of liberty and justice for all.