The Maryland Green Party Stands in Solidarity with Victims of White Supremacy and Systemic Racism. Demands Community Control of the Police, and Prosecution of the Four Police Officers involved in the Murder of George Floyd.
On May 25th, Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin brutally murdered George Floyd. Floyd did not resist and was detained and in handcuffs, and said “I Can’t Breathe.” Chauvin disregarded this and spent eight terrifying minutes choking the life out of Floyd, while bystanders watched in horror. Three other Minneapolis police officers stood by and guarded Chauvin as he murdered Floyd.
Minnesota, like Maryland, has a Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR), which makes it easy for police forces to protect their officers from accountability for brutality and murder. It should not be surprising to learn that Chauvin was a part of the police-involved murder of Wayne Reyes, an Indigenous man, who was killed in 2006. Because of this legislative shield, Minneapolis police specifically and police throughout Minnesota have a record of murdering Black and Indigenous people.
Since Chauvin murdered George Floyd, many people in Minneapolis have tried to protest peacefully. The police responded with brutal force, shooting at and gassing peaceful protestors. This repression of peaceful protest poured gasoline on the fire. This is now an uprising.
We join with the people of Minnesota calling for the arrest and prosecution of the four police officers involved in the shooting. It is a good sign that charges have been brought against Chauvin, but we believe the other three officers also should be arrested and charged. It is obvious a crime was committed. It is time for the police officers responsible for this murder to be arrested. Investigation can continue after the arrest in order to build the prosecution. We want to see a successful conviction, unlike what we saw in Baltimore.
In Maryland, we are very familiar with this pattern. All over the state, police have killed Black and Brown people. There have been over 90 police killings in Maryland since 2015. The Baltimore uprising of 2015 came after the police killed Freddie Gray and then brutally attacked a group of youth protesters. Maryland Greens send love to Minnesota with the memory of the Baltimore uprising in our hearts and minds.
Uprisings spark new life and create opportunities for change that may not have been possible before.
We renew our call for the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights in Minnesota and in Maryland to be reformed so that officers and departments do not have a shield against prosecution, public information sharing, and community accountability. This is a first step toward democratic community control of the police, where communities can set policies, determine priorities, design training, remove police, begin grand jury proceedings, and enforce accountability processes for any security force that exists in their community.
With democratic community control of the police, Office Chauvin would have been removed from the force. There were 18 complaints against him, two of which resulted in disciplinary action. When Senator Amy Klobachur was the District Attorney she failed to prosecute Chauvin for another killing he was involved in. Community control of police changes the power dynamic and puts people in charge of the people who police their communities.
We also believe that the police and the national guard deployed to terrorize peaceful protesters and communities should stand down and resist orders to protect corporations from angry residents.
Every police murder is an opportunity to examine a corrupt and racist system and imagine how it can be different. We stand with the people around Maryland and in Minnesota expressing their anger and demanding better.