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Systemic Change is Within Our Sights Starting with Minneapolis

June 5, 2020

Advancement Project National Office has long called for systemic change in our criminal legal system and may soon see a win as the Minneapolis City Council is heavily weighing disbandment of the Minneapolis Police Department following the charge of all four police officers involved in the racially motivated killing of George Floyd.

True justice will only come in the form of systemic change. Advancement Project National Office is optimistic about the Minneapolis City Council’s consideration to disband the Minneapolis Police Department and will support our partners and the Council’s efforts toward reimagining public safety.

Black people need to see that the system is going to be very different. We have been here before, several times. There are so many empty promises of change, and people are fed up. Layer on top of this a pandemic, where people are already suffering. There’s just too much pain in our community for us to stand by and just let it happen and wait for the empty promises again.

Unlike the officers who killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor’s killers remain free and paid by the Louisville Police Department. Taylor, the 26-year-old Louisville EMT who was killed in her home in March, was shot 8 times during the execution of a no-knock warrant, which allows police to break down a person’s door in the middle of the night.

In the case of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man who was killed on a neighborhood jog in February, the District Attorneys who failed to immediately arrest his murderers are still in office. Justice cannot be achieved when people in power are not held accountable for their actions to uphold the white supremacist values embedded in this nation’s criminal legal system.

Advancement Project National Office stands with our grassroots partners, who demand that police departments across the country be defunded. We will continue to work towards transformational change to ensure justice for Black and Brown people and to eradicate the legacies of racial injustice that our country’s systems uphold. It’s time to define the terms and control the means by which safety is realized in our streets and neighborhoods and to reimagine for ourselves how “safety” is pursued.