Today, April 20th, a Hennepin County jury found the killer of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, guilty for two counts of murder (second- and third-) and one count of second-degree manslaughter. Not even five years ago, this would have been unthinkable, as so many killer cops walk free after murdering African-Americans. But hundreds of thousands of protesters last year rose up and demanded justice for George Floyd and shook the foundations of this country. We as National SDS celebrate this conviction and we see it as proof of the power of the people who protested, of which we are proud to say we are a part.

As relieved as we are by the conviction of Derek Chauvin, we must remember that justice has not been won completely for George Floyd. The other officers complicit in his murder need to be charged and held accountable as well. We must also remember the words of the prosecution who, during their arguments, said that the state of policing and the criminal justice system were not on trial, but that Chauvin was. We disagree: we say that it is an unjust system that keeps Black folks down and that it should be put on trial, with the people as the judge, jury, and the executioner.

There are many more Chauvins out there, some of whose names we may never know without community control of the police. Even during the trial itself, more Black and Latino people were murdered by cops who have not yet been brought to justice, Daunte Wright not ten miles from where George Floyd died and Adam Toledo in Chicago, who was just a child. The killer of Breonna Taylor still walks free, as do the killers of Sandra Bland, Tony McDade, and so many other Black Americans. Even in his own high school, the teenage Anthony Thompson, Jr, was not safe: in Knoxville, Tennessee, he was killed by police in the bathroom of his own school. And today, as we waited for the verdict, another murder by police occurred in Columbus, Ohio, taking the life of a 16-year-old, African-American teenager, Ma’Khia Bryant.

Not to mention the repression and retaliation by police and white supremacists that activists and organizers have suffered. Thousands of people were brutalized and arrested, including the #Tally19, mass arrests in Dallas, TX, Huntsville, AL, and elsewhere. Even now, over 600 protesters in Minneapolis who were arrested last year are still facing charges for marching onto an interstate.

SDS pledges to continue the fight to bring the other killers of George Floyd to justice. We will continue protesting for justice for other victims of police crimes and for accountability to be won for their families. We are staying firmly in the fight for community control of the police. The power of the people in winning a conviction of Derek Chauvin shows us what is possible. The injustice system will continue down its path of incarceration until we dismantle it with community control of the police. We must continue fighting for Black lives. No one is free until we are all free.

Justice for George Floyd!
Convict All Killer Cops!
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!