“We can’t be bystanders:” University of Michigan leaders provide statements on Derek Chauvin’s verdict

ANN ARBOR, MI – University of Michigan leaders say there is more work to be done in the fight for racial justice.

Comments from UM President Mark Schlissel, Chief Diversity Officer Robert Sellers, and Provost Susan Collins come in a joint statement following the conviction of former Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday, May 25, 2020, on the death of George Floyd.

Sellers also made a separate statement.

“Make no mistake, this judgment does not mean justice,” wrote Sellers. “It doesn’t mean a closure. Justice and closure only happen if what happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others never happens again. Until there is justice, we all have a responsibility to act and bring about change. We must all work to eradicate all forms of structural racism and oppression. “

Read the full statement from the seller here.

Chauvin was convicted on April 20 of accidental second degree murder, which can be punished with up to 40 years in prison. Third degree murder punishable by up to 25 years in prison; and second degree manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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No verdict will ever adequately alleviate the pain, loss and fear caused by Floyd’s death and other black-and-brown people by law enforcement agencies including Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright, officials said in the joint statement, adding added that the judgment does not represent the end of the journey, which must be continued.

“This was a murder trial that was carried out in a system that is still imperfect – and that has not yet fully reckoned with the racism in our nation and the anti-blackness and devaluation of the black and brown people who without our eternal The system will not end collective insistence, ”the joint statement said. “The bigger questions we face are crucial and inevitable for anyone who wants a better world.”

Read the joint statement by Collins, Schlissel, and Sellers here.

Officials have launched a number of initiatives to combat racism in the UM community, including a university-wide task force to investigate how the university maintains public safety, Sellers said. The Provost’s Office launched the Teacher Recruitment Against Racism Program, and the university established the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund to support student scholarships for those who have worked to improve their communities through social justice.

Sellers said he has confidence that the community can make positive change, but it will take everyone to do it and it won’t happen overnight, he said.

“Tonight my feelings are not of joy or relief,” said Sellers. “Instead, my thoughts are on George Floyd’s family and their loss. I have also shed tears for the families of so many others whose murders have not been recognized or punished, but our relentless commitment to justice has not forgotten them. “

Students in need of assistance can contact the University Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAPS), and staff and faculties can access services through the faculty and staff counseling and counseling office.


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