Issued April 20, 2021
San Francisco - Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder for the killing of George Floyd:
“No matter where we come from or what we look like, we all want to send our loved ones out into the world knowing they will return home safely. George Floyd’s family, and too many others, know the pain and violence of a loved one being killed by police. No verdict could ever truly bring justice for the Floyd family, who will have to live with the knowledge that George - their son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend - was taken from them and can’t ever return home.
“The jury’s decision today gives us the bare minimum: a recognition that George Floyd's life had value and that his murderer won't walk free.
“This verdict won’t bring George Floyd back and it won’t fix our broken criminal justice system. America’s justice system was designed to protect wealth and power. The system was not set up to serve and protect all of us. It was especially never meant to work for communities of color and poor communities. In fact, our system does not even serve the best interests of those who work within it. We demand better. It is time to rethink the role of the police and reimagine public safety in America.
“SEIU leaders and members will stand together and take action when any of us are under attack, whether it is Black and Latino people killed by the police, immigrants detained at the border, or Asian Pacific Islanders attacked in hate crimes. We know these events are not isolated and are products of the same racist violence that took the life of George Floyd. We understand that our fates are linked and dismantling structural racism is in all of our self-interest. We believe that until Black communities and other communities of color are safe and can thrive, we will not have justice for all in this country.
“We know that when we join together across race and difference, we can rethink the role of police and the criminal justice system and reimagine public safety. We can win our interconnected fight for racial and economic justice. Together we have the power to bring about a world where all of us have what we need to thrive, no exceptions. All corners of the labor movement must be committed to dismantling structural racism and today we recommit to doing so in the memory of George Floyd.”
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.