Long Road to Justice in Policing

A Reason to Hope in the Long Road to Justice in Policing

The April 20th verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial evoked complex emotions. Even with video proof of Chauvin’s crimes, many people expected him to be found not guilty. Convictions of police officers who commit acts of violence are not common. His indictment was a sigh of relief and heavy because a life was lost. Nothing will equate to justice for a life lost. The feeling of anxiety and of the unknown during his trial is proof that the system is not for the people and has failed. This feeling is the culminating effect of the power of white supremacy. This feeling symbolizes the power and fear associated with policing. This feeling is what Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) experience every day. The guilty verdict in this trail is a step in the right direction and reason to hope for change. Following the guilty verdict, the murders of more BIOPIC people by police in the cases of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Ma’Khia Bryan and many more, are reminders that there is still a long road to justice in policing.

We at the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health at Boston University School of Public Health acknowledge the charges against Derek Chauvin do not represent justice, the charges represent the truth. We acknowledge this indictment is only the beginning steps towards ending racist policies and practices in all parts of our society, from law enforcement, healthcare, education, food access, housing, and more. 

We commit to the following:

  • Fight for policies and practices leading to systemic changes for Black women in the maternal and child health spaces
  • Support Black, Brown, Indigenous, students of color to diminish barriers and challenges in academia 
  • Educate ourselves and each other (white people) 
  • Be uncomfortable as we grapple with, talk about white supremacy, and how we can change it (personally and professionally)
  • Use our hands, feet, voices as public health professionals to push for systems change
  • Start with our institutions and push outward to roots in health care, housing, environment, business, education, food, and more

We need to remember the names and lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Ma’Khia Bryant, and so many more. We cannot let their murders be stepping stones to only learn. We cannot stop until the violence and traumatization of Black and Brown people at the hands of police ends. We need to make changes now to actively fight white supremacy, racism, and police violence.