South West Committee statement following George Floyd murder trial

This week the world held our breath waiting for the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin following the death of George Floyd after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nine minutes.

UNISON South West Committee has issued the following statement:

The jury’s decision to find him guilty of all three charges was a surprised to many, but welcomed by all as a sign that at last police officers committing crimes would finally be held accountable.

But it is too early for this to be seen as justice: The murders of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephen Clark, Breonna Taylor and Daunte Wright to name a few, show that it is still not safe for Black people to walk the streets of their home towns and the greatest danger they may face is from those who are supposed to protect them.  Until this freedom and basic right is enjoyed by all, the Black Lives Matter movement must be supported across the world in its fight for justice.

Today is Stephen Lawrence Day, marking 28 years since the teenager was murdered on the streets of London in a racist attack. The failings of the police  investigation into his death, led to the McPherson report which declared the Metropolitan Police ‘institutionally racist’, which in turn resulted in all public bodies examining whether they too may also need to change to ensure every section of our communities are served equally and fairly.

There is still so much work to be done to eradicate racism and we take this opportunity today to pledge our commitment to this struggle and. to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movements across the world.

South West Committee, UNISON South West