The following statement was issued by Aleyamma Mathew, Director of the Collective Future Fund, in response to the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin and the death of 16 year old Ma’Kiah Bryant:
“The pain and trauma experienced by Black Americans and their allies in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd has proven to be a catalytic event for racial justice across the globe. At Collective Future Fund, we mourn, march, and mobilize in solidarity with all those demanding that Black lives be valued, cherished, and protected. Today, we remember and grieve for George Floyd alongside the ever expanding list of those murdered in similarly unjust circumstances: Breonna Taylor, Duante Wright, Toledo, Atatiana Jefferson, Brianna ‘BB’ Hill, and Tony McDade, and too many others.
Above all we hope that this guilty verdict provides some closure to the family and friends of George Floyd, and provides some relief to the Minneapolis community that has suffered so much as a result of Derek Chauvin’s heinous actions. This is not justice, only a modicum of accountability. We do not celebrate because true justice would have George here with us today. But we do share in the relief of so many at the unanimous, unambiguous decisions on all three counts from the jury.
This moment of accountability was brief and fleeting though, and does nothing to protect the lives of Black girls, boys, men, women and non-binary people whose lives continue to be threatened by the oppressive, racist, dangerous police. Within moments of the verdict being read, we were outraged and heartbroken that a 16 year old child, Ma’Kiah Bryant, was killed by police.
While we remain limited to carceral forms of justice in the present, we also strive for a future of liberation and justice where Black people can live their lives in peace, free from the threat of violence from the state.
No verdict could restore life. This guilty verdict cannot amend the ongoing, systemic violence of the system that brought about the murder of George Floyd in the first place. It was this system that led Derek Chauvin to believe he could murder George with impunity. It is this system that continues to steal resources, health and Black lives from our communities every single day. This violence is inextricable from the sexual and gendered violence we fight to erase, because it is all built upon the shared foundation of dehumanization, patriarchy, and white supremacy.
We must demand abolition. We must fight for meaningful accountability from everyone who upholds the systems that continue to inflict harm on Black communities. We must fight for Ma’Kiah as we fought for George. At Collective Future Fund, we will continue to place our resources and support with the survivors creating a future free from patriarchal violence, rooted in justice, healing and liberation.”