Stand Together CEO Brian Hooks on Derek Chauvin trial verdict

The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin reinforces two truths that have been revealed since the world first watched George Floyd take his last breath: The injustices endured by Black Americans are real and persistent. And our country contains within it the ability to address them.

This trial was necessary because a police officer murdered a man he was sworn to protect. This fact alone demonstrates that we have much more to do if we are to live up to the ideals of a country based on equal rights, where all people can realize their potential. The struggle to address injustice is never complete and it is up to all of us to participate.

The history of progress in our country is one of continuous struggle to better live up to our ideals. As Frederick Douglass said, “[t]he Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.”

That our system was able to fairly administer justice in this case shows the wisdom of Douglass’s conviction and demonstrates that progress is still possible. Unique among nations, our country contains within it the mechanisms for self-improvement.

As we said at the time of George Floyd’s death, Stand Together will continue our commitment to the struggle for racial justice. And while no verdict can heal the pain left by the loss of a loved one or on its own right the wrongs of so many years, together, we can begin to Heal America. And today, we must all recommit to that project.

Brian Hooks
Chairman & CEO