Neighborhood House statement on
the recent ex-officers’ verdict
The federal civil rights trial for three former Minneapolis police officers indicted in connection with George Floyd’s killing has come to a close. The three ex-officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, were federally charged with depriving George Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority, both by failing to give Floyd medical aide and by not intervening to stop ex-officer, Derek Chauvin, when he kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020.
This verdict offers us further justice and the ability to heal from the trauma and wounds that still seem fresh. The truth of the matter is that these three officers, who swore to protect all, failed to do so. If even one of these men simply intervened or chose to render aide, George Floyd would still be alive.
Neighborhood House has been working with diverse communities for 125 years. It is our mission to help people gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to thrive in diverse communities and we can’t do that work if the communities of people we serve are systematically marginalized and living in fear.
While we support the outcome of the trial, we must also remember that this trial is just one of many trials that we will witness in the coming months. Each of these trials is painful as we see the realities many black, indigenous, and other people of color experience by being mistreated, dehumanized and subjected to needless violence.
It is a time to rededicate ourselves to building a community of trust, one that ensures the dignity and safety for everyone in our country. At Neighborhood House, we recognize that a society where BIPOC lives are not equally valued destroys the concerted well-being of all communities. We as an organization and individuals have a responsibility to improve the general welfare of all communities, and we must stand in unity to advocate and take action when injustice occurs. True healing will come when we have built systems rooted in humanity, equity and accountability where everyone can truly thrive. Together, we can make this happen.
Neighborhood House will continue to advocate for police accountability and for police officers to be charged when it is warranted.
We will also:
- Continue to put the needs of our participants first, acting with compassion and understanding and being flexible with our service delivery to ensure people receive what they need from us – even if that is simply someone to listen.
- Continue to create programs and space at Neighborhood House where BIPOC communities are both welcome and celebrated
- Share resources where people can access up to date, accurate information about police activity to protect life, physical structures and freedom of speech.
- Continue to speak up, advocate, share resources and work for a more equitable place for BIPOC communities to live and succeed.