May 25, 2022

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on the Second Anniversary of the Murder of George Floyd

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) issued the following statement on the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police: 

“Two years later, Black people are still waiting for justice. Yes, the officer who murdered George Floyd was found guilty, but that alone is not justice. It will not bring back Mr. Floyd, who will never have the opportunity to watch his daughter grow up. It will not convince our criminal justice system that Black lives matter. It is not the end of the struggle for equal rights — a struggle as old as our nation itself.  

“Two years later, we still have not made enough progress. In many ways, our nation has moved backward, and existing while Black has become more dangerous, more painful, more terrifying. Despite widespread calls for police reform, police killings increased in the year following the murder of Mr. Floyd. To no one's surprise, a disproportionate number of the victims were Black.  

“Two years later, police continue to evade accountability for acts of violence and remain overly involved in aspects of life that should be beyond the scope of their job. Keeping our streets safe means supporting our most vulnerable communities, not terrorizing them with impunity. To truly invest in public safety, we must end qualified immunity and reduce unnecessary contact between police and communities. For too long, police have been the default responders to situations with which they lack expertise. Mental health emergencies or drug use should be dealt with by health care professionals, not armed officers with limited to no relevant medical training.  

“Two years later, we mourn. We mourn George Floyd. We mourn Breonna Taylor. We mourn Michael Brown. We mourn every person killed by a system to which their life does not matter. We mourn, but we must also keep fighting. In the wake of not just two years, but four centuries of tragedy, we must continue to raise our voices in the name of racial justice. Giving up is simply not an option.”