Statement of the Boston Foundation on the conviction of Derek Chauvin in killing of George Floyd

April 20, 2021

Boston – The Boston Foundation today issued the following statement after the announcement that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had been convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd.


“The guilty verdict today against Derek Chauvin is a victory for accountability. But it alone is not enough. Since George Floyd’s murder, we have witnessed more killings. Daunte Wright. Adam Toledo. More deaths at the hands of police. More devalued lives snuffed out.


“The guilty verdict is not enough because we are still operating within a documented system of policing that works against Black Americans and other people of color throughout the country.  It is part of a larger system that has disenfranchised and penalized Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Indigenous people, immigrants and others for more than 400 years.


“So how do we move forward?


“First, we must be allies as we continue to express our refusal to accept systems that were designed to value some Americans more than others. And let’s also express our belief that things can and must change. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.’


“The Boston Foundation will continue to fight for a city and region where justice and opportunity are extended to everyone, with anti-racism and equity at the very center of our work. The building blocks are there—throughout our communities there are dedicated, smart, proximate leaders who are working tirelessly for racial equity and social justice. We must do a better job in uplifting their efforts and their voices—and those of a new generation of civic and business leaders who are applying their own life experiences and life lessons to their ideas and their work.


“The conviction of Derek Chauvin doesn’t change the fundamental inequities in so many of our systems, including criminal justice. One case alone does not make or break any system. Systemic change is never that easy – but it must happen. In the end, the system we must build isn’t one that convicts George Floyd’s killer. It’s one that keeps George Floyd alive.”