Statement on the Chauvin Verdict

The trial and conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd provide some accountability for practices and policies that have disproportionately and negatively affected people of color, including those with disabilities. Unfortunately, these kind of violent police actions that cause death, serious bodily harm, and unjust incarceration remain a very real aspect of daily life for many. The psychological and physical trauma inflicted by these policies and practices continue largely without the accountability our nation witnessed for the murder of George Floyd. This is evident in the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo which occurred during the trial.

Disability Rights Maryland is committed to justice. Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, awareness has been heightened in our nation and the world about the injustices perpetrated by a system of mass incarceration. Disability Rights Maryland remains committed to listening and learning more about what justice means. We learn from the youth who led this summer’s protest, and from leaders who have guided Baltimore City in redressing systemically unlawful policing. We learn from our clients, our communities and each other. We know that structural and institutional racism is fundamentally at odds with the freedom, liberty, and survival of people of color. Systemic discrimination in housing, transportation, education, healthcare, employment, and so many other aspects of our society perpetuate the disproportionate institutionalization and segregation of people of color with disabilities.

Our work to create a just and inclusive society will not end until structural racism is dismantled. Our nation’s reckoning with this truth must continue, and it must continue to be led by the communities most impacted. Disability Rights Maryland will continue to learn from, support, and stand alongside these communities to achieve justice for our clients and for all.