The Chauvin verdict: A small step toward racial justice

The Chauvin verdict: A small step toward racial justice


Justice was only partially served on April 20 in the George Floyd murder case when ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of various charges. The Communist Party USA celebrates this verdict, a victory for justice won by people’s struggle. Much remains to be done before the racist killings of African Americans by the police ceases.

Indeed, in the few weeks it took to try Chauvin, police around the country killed at least 64 people, including 20-year-old Daunte Wright of Minnesota and 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant of Ohio.

In the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, the public heard many lies coming from the Minneapolis Police Department. The initial news release posted on the department’s website is innocuously titled “Man Dies after Medical Incident during Police Interaction.” It said that Floyd, who was not identified by name, “physically resisted officers” on the scene who had ordered him out of his vehicle. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” the release said. The officers called for an ambulance and Mr. Floyd was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died, it said. Then, in a separate one-sentence paragraph, the department said, “At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident.”

These blatant lies were countered by video taken during the murder by a young Black woman, Darnella Frazier, documenting Chauvin slowly murdering Floyd before the eyes of other officers, by-standers, and, eventually, the entire world.

The movement for justice for George Floyd and an end to all racist police murders of Black people forced the truth to be recognized. Propelled by the horrific video, the movement became very broad, with marches occurring in big cities and small towns, many white people for the first time joining African Americans to protest police violence, and people around the world connecting the racism in their own countries with Floyd’s murder.

The sad truth remains that this murder should never have happened, the police cover-up should never have occurred, and systemic racism of the U.S. police should not be tolerated as it continues to be today.

Real justice would mean that George Floyd would be alive today. But racial justice is not just about the absence of violence against people of color—it means economic equality, equal access to high-quality health care and education, the end of discrimination in our institutions, and the simple, inalienable right to lives as equals among all.

These goals can’t be completely attained under capitalism because racism is baked into our current political and economic system. Racism won’t be ended completely until workers have the power to end capitalism and the economic and ideological drivers of racism that go along with it. Even when we achieve socialism, the struggle to end racism will need to continue because only the systemic basis of racism will have been removed. The persistent, ugly ideology of racism will not be easily wiped out. Yet we fight to end racism now, knowing that this fight is fundamental to achieving socialism.

The Communist Party USA joins with other people’s movements in continuing to be vigilant, working toward complete community control of the police, and demanding an end to all racist violence, by police or others, in the USA.

We urge everyone to demand that the Senate pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, passed by the U.S. House. This act would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, hold police accountable in court, limit the transfer of military equipment to police departments, establish the National Police Misconduct Registry, and more. Call your senators today.

For over 100 years, the Communist Party USA has been committed to the struggle to end racism and racist violence. Join the CPUSA today to help win this struggle.

Image: Tony Webster (CC BY-SA 2.0).


    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

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