Today justice was served as a Minneapolis jury held former police officer Derek Chauvin
accountable for the murder of George Floyd. This is an important first step in the healing
process for our country, but we must realize that actions to eliminate systemic racism and rebuild trust in community-police relationships must continue locally and at the national level.
I understand that members of our African American community are especially hurting; they are angry and have little faith in the American justice system that has so often failed them. I see, feel, and share your anguish over the excessive use of force against people of color and the
senseless loss of life.
Let us take a moment to reflect upon the loss of George Floyd and the many other innocent lives that have been tragically taken through the actions of a few in law enforcement who have abused their authority and betrayed their oaths to protect the public. George Floyd’s death reminds us that we cannot stay silent in times of injustice. We must speak out and act on the values that define us as a community. The concerns and fears that our Black and Brown communities endure every day over the safety of their loved ones is very real. They are tired, sad, angry, and demanding change.
Our City knows that we must act if we want justice and equity for everyone. Our City Council,
City Organization and Police Department are committed to listening, learning, and taking action to improve our City’s public safety services. We must stand up for what we know is right. The jury acted decisively, and as we react to the verdict locally, let us respond in a way that unites us in our common resolve to make meaningful change.
Our City will work to keep everyone safe who exercises their First Amendment right and adds
their voice to the calls for change and justice. Let us remember the families who continue to
grieve their loss of their loved ones. And I call on everyone to support one another as we move
forward together and begin to heal.
Deborah Frank Feinen
Mayor – City of Champaign
A video recording of this statement can also be viewed HERE.