St. Lawrence County colleges issue joint statement on Chauvin verdict

St. Lawrence County colleges issue joint statement on Chauvin verdict
FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file image from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, accompanied by defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, speaks to the judge at the Hennepin County courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Source: Court TV via AP, Pool)

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Colleges in St. Lawrence County have issued a joint statement about the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The Associated Colleges of the St Lawrence Valley, which include Clarkson and St. Lawrence universities as well as SUNY Canton and Potsdam, issued the following statement:

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of the murder of George Floyd by a jury in Minnesota.

Among the members of the Associated Colleges, we have witnessed our friends, colleagues and students experience, once again, throughout this trial not only the trauma of George Floyd’s murder, but also the murder and mistreatment of so many other Black Americans — adding to their own personal, daily trauma. The testimony of the trial witnesses as they helplessly watched George Floyd beg Officer Chauvin for his life is a testament to the trauma of systemic racism and the way that Black lives are devalued.

For some, the high profile of this particular case has been a sign of change. But, less than a year later, we are still witnessing shocking killings that demand we do more. In the last month, the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Minneapolis and 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago underscore that we must continue to demand and support change in our law enforcement and justice systems. We must work towards a society that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion.

The verdict for conviction of Chauvin on the charges of murder and manslaughter is a small step toward justice and dismantling systemic racism.

We clearly have a long, long way to go.

The Associated Colleges of St. Lawrence Valley invites all members of the North Country to take part in reflection and action in order to support anti-racism and truly equal justice for all. Please make time to join us for ongoing critical discussions about the impacts — subtle and obvious — of racism on the wellbeing of our communities. We must do better.

The Presidents and Chief Diversity Officers of the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley

Copyright 2021 WWNY. All rights reserved.