April 21, 2021

Statement Post Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict


Until Justice Just Is.

Today, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the 2020 killing of George Floyd. This verdict offers a moment of respite and hope for many, yet we know that much more needs to be done to ensure that no more lives are lost as tragically, senselessly, and unjustly as George Floyd.

In cities across the country, the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is frayed and in some areas it is broken. As an agency that works closely with law enforcement to help end domestic violence in Spokane County, we believe it’s absolutely possible to have a safe community for everyone. However, this is only possible when the public can trust that law enforcement is truly there to keep them safe.

Having accountability measures in place for law enforcement isn’t just racially just, it’s good business. It builds trust. Every reputable business has processes to keep them financially and socially accountable; an audit, a health inspection, customer and user reviews. That doesn’t inherently imply distrust or dislike; rather, the existence of these systems creates trust and reliability in the community and in the users. It makes people more likely to come back, to spend money with a business, to recommend it to friends.

This conviction is a step in the right direction toward law enforcement accountability. Justice is what happens next. To move forward and “make enduring, systemic societal change” as stated by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison we will need to engage in “simple yet profound acts of courage” each and every day until true justice just is.

In the coming days YWCA Spokane will offer opportunities to engage in courageous conversation through our 2021 Stand Against Racism event on Thursday April 22nd and step into action with our 2nd annual Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge which will be offered this coming June. YWCA USA has also just released a new toolkit focused on healing racial trauma, now available on our website.

As stated by Ellison, “True justice for George only comes through real, systemic change to prevent this from happening again. And the tragic death of Daunte Wright this week serves as a heartbreaking reminder that we still have so much more work to do to get there.”

Our focus at YWCA Spokane will remain where it has been for more than 118 years: serving our community through critical, free, and confidential services and meeting their need for safety, justice, healing, and equity.

We are committed to supporting and uplifting racial and social justice efforts and serving as a voice for what is right, fair, and just. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, and until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.

We encourage you to join us in this movement as we work to champion equality, to end gender discrimination, and to combat injustices that pose as barriers for so many. This work requires action. Action from us all. Every person is responsible for creating change. The time to act is now, and we urge the Spokane community to join us. Join us in changing our future.

About YWCA Spokane

Since 1903, YWCA Spokane has been helping women and children overcome social, economic, and personal barriers in order to accomplish their goals and achieve healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Today, areas of focus include supporting victims of intimate partner domestic violence, promoting early childhood education, and confronting racial and social justice issues that negatively impact our clients and our community.

By working at the intersections of inequality, poverty, and domestic violence, YWCA Spokane is able to disrupt longstanding societal patterns of trauma.

Learn more about our impact.

By: Erica Schreiber

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