Bishop Brown’s Statement on the Verdict of the Derek Chauvin Trial
Beloved of God in Delaware,
Yesterday, April 20, 2021, a jury in Minneapolis convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was in police custody. The trial will be remembered as a landmark event in American legal history. Sadly, achieving this just outcome is considered a major accomplishment for our judicial system, and it is. Indeed, this trial and its verdicts mark a moment of genuine progress toward fairness for all citizens and, yes, that is incredibly important. But, as is often the case, when we as a nation suddenly lurch forward we also see more clearly just how long the struggle ahead remains. As important as this one outcome is, let us not be deceived. This single action of progress does not mean courts everywhere have suddenly reformed themselves toward true justice and accountability. Our work remains.
Thankfully, in this work, we are joined by our diocese’s newly-formed Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission. They, too, will issue a statement in the coming days. I look forward to it and to their witness, energy, and leadership for years to come.
St. Paul encouraged the faithful in Galatians 6 to bear one another’s burdens, fulfilling the law of Christ. That law of Christ is, as we well know, to love one another as we have been loved. Paul writes, “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all …”
Today, I call us to prayer. Please pray for Mr. Floyd and his family, and for all whose lives have been altered by this tragedy and violence of every kind. Pray for former officer Chauvin and all those who have perpetrated violence, that they may know a better way. Pray for justice, healing, and peace. My sisters and brothers, pray for us all.
Your brother in Christ,