Relief and Resolve in the Derek Chauvin Verdict

Statement from Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground

Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on three counts: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

For millions of people in the United States and around the world, the news brings relief after months of fear and anticipation.

It should also spark our resolve — because although the verdict carries huge meaning, it cannot bring George Floyd back to life or resolve the deeper injustices of which his murder is not even the most recent example. Any hope that we feel is tempered by these realities.

There is something that I know from my work as CEO of Search for Common Ground, one of the world’s leading peacebuilding organizations. Healthy societies are built on trust — both trust between people and trust in institutions, including law enforcement. Trust takes years to build but can vanish in an instant. This week, with millions of people processing the Derek Chauvin verdict, the words and actions that we choose have special power.

My deepest hope is that we sense the vital need for trust and build on this basis. Trust grows when police officers refuse to stand silent in the face of brutality committed by one of their own, like the police chief and senior officers who testified in the Chauvin trial. It grows when people of diverse backgrounds and races stand up against the abuse of others, like the witnesses to Floyd’s murder who spoke up on that day and then provided heartbreaking testimony that led to his murderer’s conviction. And it grows when leaders of powerful institutions, including corporations, that once sat on the sidelines, begin to take action against injustice.

The Chauvin verdict cannot erase the stark reality that a great injustice was done. Let us resolve to make it a true turning point.

For interviews, please contact:
Mark Daley | mdaley@sfcg.org | +1 (202) 779–1854
Chief of Development, Marketing, Communications
Search for Common Ground

Massimiliano Colonna | mcolonna@sfcg.org | +1 (202) 768–7539
Director of Communications
Search for Common Ground

We are the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organization, working to build safe, healthy, and just societies worldwide.