The following is a statement from CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley:
Today it was announced that Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd last May. The members of the jury heard the evidence, reflected on the testimony, and reached a conclusion that is just and right. We should be grateful for their diligence to the oath they took. Ever since we heard George Floyd gasp for breath in his final minutes almost a year ago, and as we watched him die with a knee on his neck, we knew that his life had been taken in a criminal act of police brutality. This verdict is a right and just step.
But it is just a step, and against centuries of racial injustice, we must also affirm that there are many more steps that must be taken. History has taught us time and again that steps like this, by themselves, are no guarantee that we are on a path toward justice or beloved community. If there is to be justice for George Floyd or any other child of God, there is more required. Those next steps are far more important than this step. How do we dismantle structures that breed white supremacy and condone police brutality? What is required from our government? What is required from each of us as individuals? What is required from the church? How does the church, in word and in deed, cultivate beloved community by inviting genuine repentance, honest friendship, and real actions that repair the devastations of many generations?
The verdict that matters more will be the one that is rendered in light of the next steps we are called to take.
As we await that verdict, let us pray for the family of George Floyd as it continues to grieve his death. Let us remember in prayer the other black women and men who have died in acts of police brutality and senseless violence. Let those of us who are white Christians pray for our black sisters and brothers who have carried the weight of weariness and injustice for centuries. Let us pray that when the next verdict comes, the church will have been found faithful.