New York, NY – At approximately, 5 p.m. Eastern time, April 20, Derek Chauvin, the cop who fatally jammed his knee on George Floyd’s neck for over to nine minutes, was found guilty on all three charges. The murder of George Floyd caused millions of people to take to take to the streets demanding justice.
Many organizations throughout the country had protests planned for the day of the verdict. In Brooklyn, the New York Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression called for a “Justice for George Floyd and NYPD Victims” rally for 6 p.m. in the plaza opposite the Barclay’s Center.
The organizations that gathered under that call were: New York Community Action Project, Declaring Justice for Dominique Alexander (Justice for Domo), Uptown for Community Justice, New York Boricua Resistance, G REBLS, BAYAN USA Northeast, Struggle – La Lucha for Socialism, Socialist Unity Party, and the New Abolitionist Movement.
Many organizations gathered to not only mark the announcement of the guilty verdict, but what the next steps are in police accountability. These organizations also brought attention to local cases of NYPD brutality such as those of Allan Feliz, Dominique Alexander and Sofia Gomez Aguilon.
Jessica Schwartz from New York Community Action Project spoke to the crowd, “This is not a victory of the system, but of people power. We must fight back against the NYPD and demand justice for Dominique Alexander, who was found hanging from a tree in Fort Tryon Park last year – and the NYPD spent 66 minutes investigating the case before ruling it a suicide; Allan Feliz, murdered during a routine traffic stop in the Bronx, and Sofia Gomez, who was struck and killed by an NYPD van also in the Bronx.”
Ralph Poynter, of the New Abolitionist Movement, also emphasized the role protests and organizing have played in making the Chauvin verdict a reality, telling the crowd: “You are the witnesses who made this verdict possible because had you not been here; had you not been around the world, had you not been in the streets, the verdict would’ve been different.”
What many of the organizations in the New York Alliance have in common is the demand for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). This council would put control over the police into the hands of the community. A CPAC would also give the power to the people to defund, abolish and generally control all aspects of policing.
When the rally ended, the organizers joined hundreds who had gathered at Barclays Center to march across Brooklyn. The majority of those in attendance knew that while this was a victory for the people who had marched tirelessly for the past year, there was more to be done, and more justice to be won.
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